Energy

Lazy Sunday Afternoon… How The Corporataucracy is Losing Its Grip

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It’s late Sunday, 26th February, and the oligarchy is fuming…

The large Corporate behemoths are concerned, because the Free Media – that’s the media, that doesn’t have corporate sponsorship, or control by the legacy media channels, are winning, and the legacy media are losing their power to control us, and that’s really pissing them off..

The old News media channels, the main-stream media, such as here in the UK – BBC, and ITN, and the 6 major U.S. news channels, are pissed off, because the so-called FAKE News channels, are in reality more in tune with what is really going on in the world, than the mainstream media channels would have you think.

For example:

Did you know that last year, President Obama and Secretary of State, John Kerry, BOTH visited Antarctica? Now why is is that news? And if not, WHY not?

So, what was the Presidential interest in Antarctica all of a sudden? Is it because back in 1512, Turkish Admiral Piri-Reis, produced a map of Antarctica, which accurately showed the land-mass including rivers and lakes under the 1 mile deep sheet of ice? Did, President Obama, want to check it out for himself – just to be sure?

Or was it because back in 1946/7 the U.S. had Operation High-jump, which was organised by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., and led by Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, USN, Commanding Officer, Task Force 68.

Operation High-jump commenced 26 August 1946 and ended in late February 1947. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships, and 33 aircraft. Operation High-jump’s primary mission was allegedly, to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV.

High-jump’s objectives, according to the U.S. Navy report of the operation, were:

Training personnel and testing equipment in frigid conditions;
Consolidating and extending the United States’ sovereignty over the largest practicable area of the Antarctic continent (even though this was publicly denied as a goal even before the expedition ended);
Determining the feasibility of establishing, maintaining, and utilizing bases in the Antarctic and investigating possible base sites;
Developing techniques for establishing, maintaining, and utilizing air bases on ice, with particular attention to later applicability of such techniques to operations in interior Greenland, where conditions are comparable to those in the Antarctic;
Amplifying existing stores of knowledge of electromagnetic, geological, geographic, hydrographic, and meteorological propagation conditions in the area;
Supplementary objectives of the Nanook expedition (a smaller equivalent conducted off eastern Greenland). {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Highjump}

However, what was the real intention of this task force? According to some reports, and at least one guarded comment by Admiral Byrd, the U.S. Task Force, was involved in a military expedition, and ultimately involved in a battle… exactly 70 years ago today.

This particular operation returned early after only two months, allegedly after having a battle with Unidentified Flying and Submersible Objects, which cost this particular task force several ships, men and aircraft.

Was this the first interstellar battle? Or where these flying machines a legacy of work done by German Researchers, who had also allegedly had contact with extra-terrestrials and fled to the Antarctic region to continue their research? This Russian video (with English sub-titles) suggests the former…

So, if the President of the U.S.A goes to Antarctica, via a stop-over in Argentina, why did this not make the evening news? And for the Secretary of State?

It has been stated by some in the Financial elite, that they fear what is coming, and that if they could, they would get “Off Planet”. In fact so many have sought hiding places in far away places such as in New Zealand, or in the Argentinian Andes. That it has driven up land and farm prices. They also have been buying gold, silver and bitcoin, in ever larger quantities, pushing prices up, and stashing large sums in currency in an attempt to minimize the worst affects of what is to come.  Some of these “preppers” have even bought space in what used to be nuclear facilities in what are known as DUMB bases (Deep Underground Military Bases) The Russians, have also allegedly provided sufficient space underground for their whole population, but the U.S. has rather selfishly, only provided sufficient space for approximately 200,000, of its population – those senior military, political and financial elites and their families. In towns near these bases, demand for essentials has sky-rocketed.

But what if any of the above is the reality, and we have been fed a lie, for 70 years, that we are alone in the Galaxy, and that the July 1947 incident in Roswell New Mexico, which was reported originally as a UFO, before it was retracted, was in fact a real inter-stellar craft (or two) that crashed and this was retrieved, along with several alien bodies?

 

We have been told it never happened? Yet the officer involved in the cover-up confided in retirement, to his son, that it really was a cover up and that it really was an extra-terrestrial craft that crashed, and elements of it were taken to PhD students in several universities to examine, in attempts to reverse engineer the technology…

What if the post WWII technological revolution that brought about the Integrated Circuit, the Ceramic silicon wafer that made the PC and smart-phone revolutions that took place 50 or so years later possible, but were in reality reverse engineered technology from alien space-craft?

What would widespread acceptance of this fact mean for established religions when their whole edifice is placed on the crucible of scientific research and found wanting? What will happen to people if the Vatican, or the Mullahs in the middle-east have to re-design their religious texts to explain the unexplainable?

We can but imagine.

But in this WooWoo world, where the previously unscientific paradigms, are over-turned as the implications of this sink in…we could see this world turned upside down, and its finances along with it

Nikola Tesla, dreamed of a world where free energy could be distributed via high-towers such as the Wardencliffe Tower, that was unintentionally funded by J.P Morgan, until he realised what Tesla was upto and had it torn down.  And extra-terrestrial space-craft, will obviously require another paradigm shift, as our oil based economy suffers its own implosion, and the financiers that funded the industry along with it…  After all… if these beings are travelling distances measured in light-years, they aren’t using rockets or burning fossil fuels…  So the oil coal and nuclear industries have much to lose from this paradigm shift…

So… get with the program…

Prepare for the change – Disclosure.

Just Another Fake News Story?

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Whilst browsing the internet, I come across many things, that deserve a wider audience, but am unable to offer any further evidence of these sometimes outlandish claims. Not so today.

This piece linked to below, really revolves around a much talked about subject, and one I have myself been involved in writing about, so this piece would appear to add further credence to the mystery.

http://themillenniumreport.com/2016/10/treason-who-did-911-and-why-did-they-do-it/

Who was responsible for 9/11?  WHY did they carry out the attacks of the World Trade Center (WTC)?  And if two planes brought down buildings one and two, how did building 7, a block or two away, across a wide expanse, collapse vertically, and yet was still upright when a BBC news anchor with a live link behind her, showing the building – that could be seen by all those sufficiently awake to notice, – was still visible, while we were being told that the building had already gone down?

The piece linked to above reads like an episode of: “The Bourne Trilogy” with a cast of characters taken from: Politics, Corporate Energy, Mafia and Banking Interests across the western world. I wrote too in the book  “The Coming Battle – 2013”  that events were spiralling out of control.

General Wesley Clark in a video interview explained that he was told in advance of plans to intervene in seven middle-eastern countries, all based on the lie of 9/11… The latest in a long line of black-ops “False-Flag” events, that were used to sway American -and in this case – worldwide opinion to permit those with their own agenda to influence events. And he also discussed what happened next and he recalled how the decision was taken back in 1991 –

It used to be that the propagandists with people inside the military and secret service industries, could modify the News agenda to get the outcomes that they wanted, and due to secrecy laws, their misdeeds would go unpunished for thirty years or more until after the secret documents could be widely accessed. BUT, the Internet has changed all that. The Mainstream News Organisations (MSM) exist to make money for their shareholders and senior management teams – and the corporations that advertise and market their wares on them, are generally large multi-nationals – the very corporations that the MSM is supposed to be keeping a beady eye on, in its role as defender of the public and the customer,  are the very same ones using politics to pursue their own agenda.

As ever, “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

So, as corruption apparently swirls around the world, I hear of imminent plans to rid the world of physical coins and notes – particularly in America, where many of the U.S.’s states, and institutions are seemingly hell-bent on destroying the last vestige of freedom – the freedom to spend as you like – by outlawing payment in anything other than digital means.

So will Gold and Silver be once more used to “Barter” with?

Will the closure of your bank, be the event that makes you take action?

Will the ATM closing, or your Bank closing one weekend and not re-opening again on Monday make you take action?

Will the disappearance of your pension fund make you take action?

The time has come.

 

 

 

Bloomberg: Russia’s Only Escape From More Deficit Pain Is Economic Growth

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Bloomberg – Russia’s Only Escape From More Deficit Pain Is Economic Growth http://bloom.bg/2aWh4Tf

Of course, to grow any economy, and  improve the living standards of an economy’s citizens, the economy must grow over and above the growth in population.

When an economy stagnates, but the population does not, the citizens are essentially sharing a cake amongst more people, so all other things being equal, everybody gets a smaller slice – which means they get poorer.

When people invest in businesses, and raise the output of goods and services, the economy grows, and people are richer, but ONLY, if the rate of growth in output is more than the population growth.

This conundrum, is at the heart of economists problems. The rate of growth of the economy.

During the early Industrial Revolution, the increase in automation added lots more goods and freed up people who were moving from agriculture, to industry. These individuals were released from agriculture because it too was mechanising..

In a service based economy, it is difficult to grow the output, because it is more difficult to automate.

A restaurant frees up people from the drudgery of cooking,  setting and laying the table, and washing dishes, but it produces not much additional value, because those citizens, cannot improve their own output by not doing these tasks because they are involved in waiting for food, between courses etc..

However, if we replace these waiters and waitresses with automatons, (Artificial Intelligence servers) and an experienced waiter to resolve difficulties, then those staff are released to produce more goods, and services elsewhere. THIS is the way to improve productivity in the economy.

However, when people are released from one industry to work in another, they have to be able to move their skills easily, and in an increasingly technological world, the time to retrain may take years. It is simply not cost-effective to retrain a 55+ year old, if he or she is going to retire perhaps two years after gaining the skills, but has (or would have) taken 4 or more years to gain the necessary expertise.

This is the problem, for economists, and politicians, because money can flow like water from one part of the economy to another, but people don’t move quite so easily.

That is at the heart of the European Union’s (EU) freedom of movement dictum. As one economy expands, people moving in, will dampen wages, and lower output per person. That’s the theory anyway,.

However, large corporations, when they use cheap money to merge with, or to take over in a hostile fashion, other corporations, do not add much value, if the people displaced do not have capital to build businesses, because their savings have been depleted by poor wages, poor interest rates, high taxation or other methods of losing value.

But, in the near future, we are about to see a positive explosion in technological advances, that will likely revolutionize the world economy. Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Spintronics, Thorium Energy production,  and Solar Energy production coupled with storage technologies to move the energy that hits the Earth during the day, to those parts of the energy demand curve usually later at night,  to heat or cool homes, or to drive factories such as Tesla’s Giga-Factory in Nevada.

This factory, which Elon Musk, has committed to producing 500,000 vehicles per annum in, by late 2017, will catapult demand for Lithium Carbonate, critical in building the batteries for his car for everyman.  Warren Buffet, who made a major investment in China’s BYD a similar automotive corporation with aspirations to produce huge numbers of electric powered vehicles using Li-ion cells, will also require huge amounts of Lithium Carbonate.

By the end of the year, according to Reuters, BYD should have 10 GWh of battery production capacity, which it expects to increase to 34 GWh by 2020 with a new factory in Brazil—about the same capacity as Tesla’s.

Other Tesla rivals rushing to the battery production scene will be iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and LG Chem, which is already one of the top three battery makers.
Samsung is also hot on the trail, having just acquired Magna’s battery production division.

According to Credit-Suisse, the lithium industry is “poised for significant volume growth,” which could lead to shortages of supply.  As a result producers of lithium are set to enjoy significant earnings throughout the decade.

Elon Musk’s aspirations, if met, will require as much Lithium as is currently produced world-wide, and such demand will also be required by BYD, and the other major manufacturers working to catch up, such as: BMW, Mercedes, General Motors, Ford et-al.

“The key drivers of the continued growth in the market are electric vehicles (“EV”), which have been pioneered in Nevada in recent years, but the larger catalyst for global mass market uptakes is EV technology in China.

Deutsche Bank has forecasted that global sales of EVs in 2025 to be 16 million vehicles per annum (current sales are just 2 million).

This increase should lift lithium consumption in EV’s 8-fold from 25-kilo tonnes (Kt) of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”) in 2015 to 205Kt in 2025.

This along with the other increases in global lithium demand is expected to increase LCE demand to around 535Kt of LCE by 2025.

This new demand is being driven by the improved economics of electric vehicles and energy storage products.

In particular in the last five years lithium-ion costs have dropped from US$900/kWh to US$225/kWh.”

In the world, there are essentially 4 major producers of Lithium. Albemarle being the biggest in Nevada, but right next to it, is a junior Lithium explorer,  with capital from major investors, who see this as a huge financial opportunity to grow output to meet this expected demand. And at a mere $1.66-1.70 range on the day I was writing this, it values the business at $114.27m (Source: Bloomberg)

Some Lithium miners, are lying about their resources, and others, simply lack the expertise to bring the Lithium salts to production.

From this small company’s web site they have this to say:

[Our Company] has an option to become the largest claims holder with over 15,020 acres (6,078 hectares) in Nevada’s Clayton Valley and land positions both north and south of Albemarle’s Silver Peak mine, North America’s only lithium producer.

Clayton Valley North covering approximately 5,480 acres (2,217 hectares) in northern Clayton Valley, Nevada. The claims are contiguous to private lands and placer claims belonging to the lithium production facility of Albemarle Corporation. Historic drill information and a geophysical survey show the Property covers basin-fill sediments which are similar to the sediments currently producing lithium brines. Two Albemarle production wells lie along the boundary. Two holes are proposed within the Clayton Valley North claims as offsets to the production wells to test the complete stratigraphic section. Drilling and exploration are active in the basin and the permitting process is well established.

[Our Company] has also acquired the Clayton Valley South Expansion, totalling approximately 9,540 acres (3,861 hectares). The property is strategically located between and contiguous with the Silver Peak lithium mine operated by Albemarle Corp. on the northern boundary, the Clayton Valley South project operated by Pure Energy Minerals Ltd to the east and the Neptune property owned by Nevada Sunrise Gold Corporation to the west.

But Eric Anderson, CEO of the lithium engineering consultancy TRU, was bearish on lithium investment as early as 2009, when a flood of new projects were being planned.

“I made this statement that people snickered at—that plants would be built and closed . . . because of the hype surrounding the industry,” says Anderson.

Anderson’s lithium predictions have been largely vindicated. Demand rose more slowly than some expected—still currently between 5 and 10% per year—and new operations have been plagued by problems.

In 2012, Galaxy Resources suspended production at its Mt. Cattlin mine in western Australia. In 2013, RB Energy Inc. opened a new lithium carbonate plant in Quebec, only to suspend operations in 2014.

Nevada-based Western Lithium, which has been repeatedly floated as a potentially convenient supplier for Tesla, has taken shareholders on a very bumpy ride, and is not yet online.

According to Anderson, Western Lithium, like many new lithium operations, simply aren’t working with the right raw materials.  Though lithium isn’t rare in the environment, the cost of extraction varies greatly with its concentration and form.

With existing technology and present prices, truly profitable lithium comes only from the evaporation of highly concentrated brine.  Those sorts of brine deposits are nearly all in southwest South America, and controlled by established players.

The three biggest lithium producers are Sociedad Quimica y Minera, based in Chile, American FMC Lithium, which controls the ominously-named Hombre Muerte mine (Dead Man Mine)  in Argentina, and the U.S. based  Albemarle, which recently acquired competitor Rockwood Holdings.  Albemarle is developing lithium brine holdings around Magnolia, Arkansas too—the only American deposits that Anderson thinks might make economic sense in the near future.

Together, these three companies provide more than 90% of the world’s lithium, and have absorbed much of the rising demand simply by bringing untapped capacity online.

A dearth of technical talent seems to be another widespread problem. The Bolivian state has faced serious management and technical hurdles in extracting the massive, high-density lithium deposits in the other-worldly salt flat Salar de Uyuni.

Similarly, Chinese producers Quinghai Lithium and Citic Guoan MGL, hoping to exploit sources near Tibet, have experienced major hurdles, and plans to expand Chinese capacity to 60,000 tons a year by the end of  this year have been revised downward by half.

Elon Musk however, is eyeing a “complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world to completely sustainable zero carbon,” and what he’s talking about here is lithium-battery production on a mind-blowing scale.

Tesla is planning to produce more lithium-ion batteries in this factory than in the entire global marketplace combined.

Lithium—the lightest and most versatile of the metals—is the backbone of this exploding battery market.

Lithium is already a key part of our everyday lives, but as batteries become the rule of the day in a new global energy picture, demand for lithium is soaring—and we are only at the beginning of this curve.

Battery manufacturers across the board are moving to lithium because it has the highest electric output per unit weight.

And nowhere will this demand soar more than with the production of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles used by everyone from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi to Ford, Chevrolet and GM.

By the end of the year, according to Reuters, China’s BYD should have 10 GWh of battery production capacity, which it expects to increase to 34 GWh by 2020 with a new factory in Brazil—about the same capacity as Tesla’s.

Other Tesla rivals rushing to the battery production scene will be iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and LG Chem, which is already one of the top three battery makers.
Samsung is also hot on the trail, having just acquired Magna’s battery production division.

According to Credit Suisse, the lithium industry is “poised for significant volume growth,” which could lead to shortages of supply.

As a result producers of lithium are set to enjoy significant earnings throughout the decade.

Therefore, this little company, stands to be able to produce Lithium Carbonate, even quite possibly at the Albemarle facility which we know meets Tesla’s Standards, and it has even  been suggested, Musk might be interested in buying the whole company to guarantee Lithium for his Nevada Giga-Factory, and his future plans.

And, the name of this Lithium junior placed to take advantage of this rapid surge in demand is: Lithium X (TSXv.LIX) and LIXXF in the U.S.) .

And remember, we’re not Investment Advisors, so nothing in this piece should be considered a recommendation. Prices of shares can go down as well as up. We do not hold, and have no short-term intentions to do so.

 

 

Lehman 2.0 – The End.

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Breakdown Over the last few days, I have been reading, and hearing some concerning stories, that suggest the end of the Dollar as World Reserve Currency is merely weeks, or at most months away.

As of late, certain banks were recently being bailed out, because the banks loaned out currency to people to buy property, which collapsed in price in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis – Italian Banks were the most recent recipients of ECB largesse. But most large Western Banks, are in an impossible position, Deutsche Bank being the most recent one facing the threat of failure, but perhaps even one of Wall Street’s grand-daddy banks.

That bank, even now, according to one economic and geopolitical forecaster is on the brink of failure with a derivatives book of 349:1 leverage on its assets – If you were aware and remember, Lehman Bros, was a mere, a MERE 73:1 when it finally failed.

BUT, as to how this dollar problem has affected the International Trade scene, has remained largely ignored by the financial media and journalists.

Countries who sell to the U.S., have been getting paid in, as one commentator put it – “toilet paper”. Indeed, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said as much, at the time of the 08 crisis, when he said that they have a printing press, that can create dollars essentially at zero cost, which means, that that, is ultimately their value. But, those dollars, because of the Bretton Woods agreement, are used to settle International Trade agreements, between for example Saudi-Arabia (for its oil) and India for its I.T. services, or Brazil, and its coffee, in exchange for Australian wine. As a result, China has told the U.S. that the International dollar has to go, and a U.S. treasury dollar has to replace it, but that its value will have to be halved over a period of approximately 2 years.

I hear that circa 20 International Container Ships are anchored off-shore in the Pacific, because the providers of those goods, now do not want the U.S. dollar in payment, and that other reasons are being given for the lack of access to Port Authorities in Los Angeles and points north.

In its place for International Trade, will be the SDR, which will be partly (circa 40%) backed by Gold, as I mentioned in my last piece, the Americans, who have been trying to control the price of Gold on the COMEX, will have to have Gold revalued on International Markets, and as at this particular point in time, the price is under negotiation. However, my finger in the air best guesstimate, would be circa $5,000/oz, with a rise to closer to $10,000 as the world economy adjusts, and people rush to buy.

The revaluation will be an overnight affair, rather as FDR’s gold revaluation took place once it was safely stored at the Fed, after he issued his now famous Executive Order 6102 on 3rd April 1933, confiscating the nation’s gold, forcing Americans to surrender their gold (excluding jewellery) on pain of a $10,000 fine, and/or 10 years in the pokey. Silver was also confiscated the following year. But even then, it is estimated that barely 30% fully complied.

However, because of International Trade, this revaluation of Gold and SDR currency introduction, needs to take place in a safe, secure, standard way to minimize shocks to the world economy, and trade.

In the wider world, all International Trade would now be carried out in SDRs, which would include the Chinese Yuan, and as stated would be valued based on a basket of currencies as per my previous post, but backed ultimately by Gold.

It is not widely known, but there are families in the Far-East, who collectively, like the Rothschilds and Rockefellors, have huge dynastic wealth, which some estimates put at 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes of Gold. (I think this is slightly exaggerated but not by much)

In fact one Japanese Army officer, claims to have discovered some of this wealth hidden, in a cave system, when they invaded other islands and nations in the second world war. A solid gold buddha of circa 24″ high, and weighing hundreds of pounds was one such piece, reputed to have been discovered. Details of all such finds are obviously viewed suspiciously by those behind the veil, and generally have scorn poured on them, in efforts to hide these truths that might embarrass the legal owners, if nothing more than but for their sheer ostentatious displays of wealth.

When these events unfold, the price of both Gold and Silver, and to some extent all commodities, will shoot up on international markets, at least when priced in Fiat currency terms. But derivatives books, will also be affected, meaning banks will undoubtedly be affected. Bank Accounts that in Britain and America are currently backed by insurance, that the British Banking Regulator – the FSA – has been pushing on local radio, and the FDIC supposedly insures for Bank accounts in the U.S., may be “bailed in” as happened in Cyprus, as banks fail, and we are likely to see a change to International trade of the major contracts into the SDR, to make trade more equitable.

America currently has a $500 billion annual trade deficit. Britain too, has just suffered a further imbalance to our trade book, and costs and inflation, can only go one way, if events transpire as I suspect. But at least Brexit, will make things easier for us to adapt as a nation.

In the events leading up to this introduction, we could see an overnight re-valuation of gold, to an unprecedented level, with further rises as those with huge sums of money, rush to transfer their wealth from Federal Reserve Notes, to Gold (and silver). Rumours suggest an initial price of circa $5,000/oz, but if that occurs, we may see a stampede towards precious metals from other asset classes. And what price silver? Possibly $400-$500 per oz.

Which brings me to the other concerning development suggesting these events are moving apace. It has come to my attention that Bank Accounts with large sums of money in them, are being frozen by the Banks, and their “Anti Fraud” departments. Two such acquaintances of mine have informed me that they cannot access their accounts and when questioning this, they have been told, that they are under investigation. Nothing else is divulged. No further information given.

Is this the first step in the events leading up to the re-liquidating of the Western Banking System to stop those with large sums from spreading them around several banks, and thus limiting the FSA’s and the FDICs liabilities? We can at this point but guess…

BUT… are the Banking elite, attempting to ensure that the banks remain in service post crisis? Moving large sums from one account to another, could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back… Is that why access has been frozen?

Imagine for a moment, you are unable to access your bank account, and your salary for a moment…

How would you fare if your Bank-Card and your Credit card stopped working?

How would you buy groceries, purchase milk, bread, fuel for your car? breakdowns Pay the children’s school meals bills? How would you pay the Window Cleaner? The Taxi Driver? The Bus Company? Would these people and companies, still provide their services and goods, on a credit basis until things get back to normal?

For one person, they perhaps could do that, but when the whole local economy is cashless… How do they, and you just survive?

Whilst I am not advocating mass panic, it would be prudent to have available (however you define that) at least one month’s money (currency) at your disposal. If you haven’t bought Gold or Silver, in a reasonable quantity yet, there may be still a little time. Crypto-currencies too, because a banking collapse is a very real possibility, on the scale of 2008 or worse, much worse.

The people of America will feel the pain the hardest, but Britain, Japan and Europe too – excepting perhaps the northern germanic nations, and close neighbours, who will suffer considerably less. We even may see a figure similar to Donald Trump, advocating that he (or she) alone has the solution, all the people need to do is follow them, and then we will have travelled back in time to 1932, when Adolf Hitler arose to great acclaim, and sealed the west’s and his nation’s fate.

Of course, having sufficient staple foods, water, perhaps fuel – like bottles of Gas for camping stoves etc. – tanks of fuel for the car, and candles, matches, canned fruit, vegetables, and batteries as well as water purification tablets, will all make life more liveable, if the SHTF moment arrives.

Time to prepare, and that is not an idle request.

Oil, Solar, Wind and Water Don’t Mix

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2005-2015-Oil-Prices
It would seem that the Saudis want every one of their oil competitors to go bust in the attempt to tear down the shale oil revolution, only to push oil prices back up again in the future. But do they still have control of the market? Judging by the persistent weakness observed in the oil market, it seems that everything is falling apart, all around the Arabian peninsula. And given events in Nice on Thursday, and Turkey yesterday, it appears that turmoil, is extending further afield.

Oil prices have still not fully recovered from the lows seen at the peak of the financial crisis (in February of 2009). If the current trend remains in place, the market will remain subdued for an extended period. On the one hand, this maybe exactly what the Saudis, and to some extent, the Iranians, want, in order to regain their market share and push other recent entrants out of the market; on the other hand, given that the worst of the recession is behind us, with prices  now in the $50-$60 range, that would still be below marginal costs for many oil exploring areas. In fact, one could ask whether these low prices are just the result of OPEC’s output decisions or whether they hide other developments.

Saudi Arabia’s task has been easier than it could have hoped for, due to a mix of international developments. Unlike events in 2009, when oil prices were boosted by a declining US dollar driven by the FED’s massive asset purchases, now QE has for the moment ended, and the interest rates are being talked up again. Anticipation of this event alone has driven the dollar higher, although weakness of other currencies has also contributed, (Brexit, of course, making the pound particularly vulnerable) which has had a negative impact on commodity prices in general, and of course, oil in particular.

2016 – US Outlook

While a rise in US interest rates would have a direct negative impact on oil prices, the eventual effect is usually positive. The reason for this is the fact that a rate hike usually comes at times when the economy is improving and we would then see rising economic activity. This would usually come with higher aggregate demand, which would boost the appetite for energy products.

However, as suppliers attempt to increase production to fill the higher demand for their products, this may be limited as fracked wells do not respond well to just opening spigots, they require more wells, and this requires capital. So, this time, not even an improving US economy might be able to spare oil these losses. Many feel that the excess oil production has been so large for so long, with stocks piling up everywhere, that more demand will merely offset the surplus effect stemming from aggregate output. But that may be just half the story.

Back in November 2015, the IEA predicted a rise in demand for oil of less than 1% per year until circa 2020 and modest growth rates thereafter. If these predictions transpire, it may take years for the current stockpiles to normalise and, unless OPEC and the wider world cuts production, the bearish trend for oil prices may continue for years.

This bearish oil market, is the consequence of depressed demand and over-production, and may not be reversible for several reasons.

The world is in an unfavourable growth scenario, with the US running at the front of the developed world pack, but Europe is still struggling with the aftershocks of the global recession. At the same time, the threat of rate hikes in the US is hitting oil prices and leading to capital outflows in the once high-flying emerging economies.

If the number of SUVs with new more efficient engines, Toyota Priuses, Nissan Leafs and Teslas, I’ve seen locally is anything to go by, the world is moving away from its oil dependence for transport. China is no longer hungrily demanding raw materials to grow its economy, as it moves from an investment-driven economy towards a more consumer-orientated one. Given the China outlook, any change in demand is likely to be lower, and lead commodities into a further bearish market. Because the finding and extraction of raw materials takes years to achieve, past decisions to expand capacity will take time to be reversed, as countries and companies adjust to the new reality. In the meantime, prices will take care of the imbalances but huge volatility is expected. In fact Dr.Kent Moors, sees problems for the oil production companies in the U.S., for a few years yet

So these and other important shifts in the world, – Wind power, Tidal, Solar, and increased Nuclear, with increases in efficiency are all taking their toll. Faced with high oil prices and being dependent on a small group of countries, governments and companies in oil-dependent countries invested in the development of these new energy sources and improvements in the efficiency of the existing ones. Cars, household appliances, consumer gadgets et-al, today need a fraction of the energy they once did.

This means that for the oil market to remain stable and growing, needs higher global GDP growth rates than hitherto. Unlike what many predicted decades ago, it won’t be the supply side controlling this market, leading prices higher, but rather a suspicion of ever decreasing demand. Saudi Arabia may already not be in control of this market and may run into trouble, along with any other entity that is dependent on petro-dollars. Of course, the value of the dollar, as well as whether oil is marketed worldwide in dollars, will ultimately define markets. But reports of a 45% split between oil and the water that is used in the waterflood of old oil wells, is also increasing costs of extraction for Saudi fields, and thus requires a higher commodity price, to balance Saudi national budgets.

Shares in the biggest oil companies trading in the FTSE, like Royal Dutch Shell and BP, lost 40% in the last year before their bounce back in recent months. In less than a year, oil prices retreated 60% and these companies couldn’t avoid the downturn. Smaller companies, including low-cost producers face an even bleaker outlook, as share price declines have surpassed 80% in many cases. Companies operating in the shale oil revolution have been decimated and many won’t be around by year end.

2016 – OPEC Outlook

If OPEC has in the past helped to boost a number of energy alternatives and driven gains in user-efficiency (via higher oil prices), they are now contributing to the development of improved technology on the supply side, as the low price is a great incentive for the remaining companies to increase cost efficiency. A low price will certainly drive many companies towards bankruptcy, but will also force the surviving companies to become highly efficient. Oil projects in remote areas or regions with high risks (being economic, political, or of any other type) will be delayed indefinitely, but part of the shale industry in more productive areas will remain. That industry has effectively placed a cap on oil prices. OPEC won’t be able to drive prices above a certain level, because many companies would enter the market again and force prices down.

The strategy followed by Saudi Arabia has severe shortcomings. This is no longer about the shale oil industry but also about OPEC members. The high production strategy is crippling growth, leading to capital outflows and increasing budget deficits in all OPEC members. Venezuela and Angola are heading towards complete economic and social chaos, with growth spiralling down and oil income not enough to finance government spending.

2016 – Angola & Venezuela

At the beginning of 2007, one US dollar would buy 75 Angolan kwanzas. In early July this year the exchange rate stands at 1 to 165, as a result of declining oil prices. That’s a decline of 50%, but the official rate doesn’t even reflect the observed reality, which is that people aren’t able to get US dollars from banks, and instead are forced to exchange them on the streets at a rate of 1 to circa 300. Many construction companies are already shutting down their business in the country, as the government is delaying payments.

Venezuela, is in even worse shape. In 2011, the Venezuelan Bolivar was 4.3 to the USD, but today stands at circa $1:10.0(VEF). This loss of purchasing power, caused riots after Hugo Chavez died, and the oil revenues upon which the nation depended, bought less and less on world markets. Queues for such luxuries as Toilet Rolls were seen, and the Socialist miracle of Venezuela, is gone, possibly for good.

Angola and Venezuela are the weakest links in the OPEC group and are thus expected to be the first to experience a deterioration in their financial positions following oil price declines. But they won’t be alone in the medium term.

The Long and Short of the Oil Market?

Take the Saudi Arabia case, for example. The country had a debt-to-GDP ratio of less than 2% at the end of 2014 and foreign reserves of around $738 billion (at today’s exchange rate). In a country where people don’t even have any experience of taxes, there seems to be a lot of margin to drive all others bankrupt before feeling the heat. Nevertheless, the country lost $90 billion in foreign reserves in the year to October. If this pace continues, the country will run into trouble in a matter of just a few years. From a balanced budget the country is going to hit a deficit of near 20% this year and another 20% next year (as predicted by the IMF). Oil-producing countries in the Gulf are already tapping money from their sovereign wealth funds to keep afloat.

OPEC long ago shot itself in the foot and will never recover from the damage. While Saudi Arabia tries hard to bust everyone, let’s enjoy the lower oil prices as consumers. As investors, or traders, it may be time to look for something sweeter than oil like cocoa and wait for the markets to stabilise, as price declines aren’t over yet. In the meantime, perhaps time to sell any oil-holdings, and time to buy, commodities that are undervalued and thus oversold? Can you say Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium or Crypto Currencies?

Iran’s New War on America’s Oil Interests

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Oil prices - where will they stop?
Oil prices – where will they stop?

On Friday last we heard that Iran had satisfied all the criteria required by the International Atomic Energy Authority that its centrifuges for enriching uranium meet the requirements to lift sanctions as promised in the détente agreement, and the new leadership, has opened up the country to International scrutiny.

The world is salivating at being given access to the 88 million inhabitants, who have sat outside the world economy for the last 36years, ever since Ayatollah Khomeini, returned to Iran, and the western backed Shah, fled in the Iranian Revolution. The American Embassy was seiged, and its staff held hostage until a negotiated release, 444 days later.

Both European and American, foreign secretaries are giddy with delight, that the Iranians have met their requests, and they can now send in the big guns. Europe has already received orders for 114 new Airbus Aircraft, and the big American Corporations will no doubt be hoping to deliver many of their products to that formerly pariah state. But underneath the euphoria, is another concern.

Iran with the 4th largest oilfield in the world, after Saudi-Arabia, Russia and the U.S., hopes to increase production to 1,000,000 barrels per day (bpd). This will be added to the almost 10,000,000 each that the big three produce. The price of oil, already depressed by the excess production due in large part to the additional supply that has been made available by America’s fracking revolution, and the high price of $147/barrel reached in 2007, which encouraged a flock of explorers and juniors who borrowed heavily during the boom years and who have added to current supply.

Already pundits are suggesting that the oil price could plummet to $10/barrel, which would decimate the higher cost producers, reducing output in many western oil-fields. This will in all likelihood lead to another situation in oil prices a few years out, just as happened in the period from 1971-1981.

The 1970s revisited…

A number of events kick-started that turmoil during the 1970s. International demand for oil had exploded in a little over 2 decades, from just 3.7 million barrels per day in 1950, to 34.2 millions per day by 1973, and restrictions on supply by OPEC, (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) because of the unrest in the middle-east as Egypt, Syria and Jordan had attacked Israel in the 1967 six days war and this had begun to bite. In May 1970, the TAPline (Trans-Arabia Pipeline) from Qassumah in the Persian Gulf, through Iraq, and Syria to Sidon, on the Lebanese coast had been struck by a bulldozer, and oil to Europe cut off. Whether this was accidental or intentional is debated, but the Syrians wanted more for their oil transmission fees before they would repair it. At the time, the Nigerians, were in a civil war in Biafra a province of Nigeria, that would later become famous for the famine it would cause; the arab nations were still smarting from their defeat in 1967 against Israel, and their hatred of the U.S. backed nation, runs deep, and during the six days war in 1967, the Egyptian President closed the Suez Canal, which meant oil tankers leaving the Gulf had to go round the Cape, to Europe and America, and all this reduced some of the glut.

In 1969, on September 1st, a little known Libyan Colonel – Muammar el-Qaddaffi, took over the reins of power in Libya, from King Idris. In doing so he spoke out against the colonial powers, and he would raise the price of oil to Europe, by $0.40 because of its proximity.

In 1970, the Vietnam war was in full flow, and U.S. dollars were flowing out around the world like confetti. In that year, the world oil price (now called Brent Crude) was $1.80/barrel in February 1971 (Texas Oil – now known as WTI – was $3.45). Exactly four years after the anniversary of Qaddaffi’s rise to power, the Libyan oil fields were nationalised. The middle-east was in the middle of a battle with Israel. In the summer of 1973, the oil price was already being dictated to the oil majors at $5.12. Within a few weeks they doubled the price again, taking the oil price to $11.65. In just four short years, the price had risen fourfold. Iran had auctioned oil as high as $17/barrel.

This rise in oil fed through into inflation, and at a time of union power, wages rose in line with prices, pushing inflation to 26.9% in the UK by the Autumn of 1974. It didn’t help, that the Heath government, had watched the money supply grow 25% during 1973, and the chickens were now coming home to roost. The stock market collapsed as oil prices rose. Second line, British Banks went to the wall and over the next two years, Britain and America entered a recession. In late 1973, Britain’s Heath Government, instigated the three day week, when lights were left off, and businesses closed. Then, as now, politicians pumped into the economy millions to save the Banks. Oil prices came down and Britain in 1976, had to call in the IMF to save it from default as bond prices collapsed eliminating this source of revenue and destroying the nation’s finances.

Some ten years after Qaddaffi took office, Saddam Hussein took the reins in Iraq. (If you’re interested, you can read about his rise to pre-eminence here —>>>; http://www.int-review.org/terr37a.html) and who had an equally prominent place in this tale of woe, later in 1979, the Iranian revolution would take oil prices to $41.00/barrel over the next two years as Iraq and Iran pushed up oil prices to pay for arms as these two islamic nations were about to go toe to toe.

The current price of oil, is therefore too low to sustain western producers, and when they’ve been killed off, the OPEC nations in the middle-east, will reap the profits, but, the shortage of oil might push prices back into the stratosphere.

And even if that might not be the problem there’s a bigger issue. The Kingdom of Saud with its Sunni religion hates Iran, with its Shia version of Islam, and the American back-slapping of Iran could cause the Kingdom to stop selling oil in dollars, and choose Yuan instead. And THAT could cascade around the middle-east killing the Western Banking system, and bringing about the dollar collapse, that Bill Bonner, Jim Rickards and others have long been prophesying.

Therefore, having precious metals, and currencies, outside government control, such as Bitcoin, Gold and Silver coins and bars as insurance makes sense.

Or Germany in 1923?

 

As the currency expanded 25% in the UK in 1973, the subsequent rate of price inflation went up almost 27% when that money hit the economy… Now imagine what an 800% increase in the U.S. money supply since 2004 will do, when that money leaks into the economy… For those who can’t, or are too lazy to do the maths, that 200 thousand portfolio, will buy around 50,000 worth of goods and services, and after the tax man has had his cut, you’ll think you’re well off

Anyone who is further interested in the period of the 1970s, and the machinations of the oil and currency-wars, and events that impacted them would do well to read: “Paper Money”, by Adam Smith (the nom-de-plume of George J.W. Goodman, who worked in Finance and Letters after graduating from Harvard, and becoming a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where he wrote a novel on financial bubbles, and went on to work as a writer for the New York Magazine)

And remember if you like what you read here, we’d appreciate a like, or a link on your web-site, or if you want to comment, just add your comments below.

Things are getting messy – Bankers and Politicians unite.

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Since my last post, the middle-east has got a little more messy. Russian military are now helping the Assad regime (Read: – the Syrian Government) to fight the numerous factions now trying to overthrow Basher Al-Assad – some supported by the U.S.

The U.S. media machine has come out in full force against this support by Putin’s military, as can be seen in this video.

But, with the “accident” of 1st November, when the Russian aircraft fell from Egyptian skies, maybe a new chapter in this messy situation has begun.

There are those who believe the inevitable result of the investigation will be that the plane was brought down by an organisation hostile to Russia’s involvement in the middle-east and Syria’s government.

Now, of the actors in the middle-east – Iran, Saudi-Arabia, the U.S., Islamic State (ISIL/IS), Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda, and the other militants such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who would gain most?

A spokesperson for the Egyptians has already dismissed the notion of an Islamic group based in Egypt being involved, but given that the democratically elected Egyptian Islamic President was removed from office, by military forces, is that outside the bounds of possibility?

If we know anything about the Banking Cabal, we know that politicians, need money to pay for wars for political ends, and Bankers don’t really care why they need it, as long as there’s a profit in it, and we increasingly have currencies that can be just “magicked up” out of thin air, making political intervention, that much easier and that much more profitable for the Bankers.

There are those who feel the end result of all this meddling, will inevitably lead to WWIII, and some even, that it has already started – as can be seen in the you-tube videos above and below. (published in May and October 2015) And even that a third world war, has been pre-ordained ever since 1871, when Albert Pike allegedly wrote a letter to Mazzini, dated August 15, 1871, in which he outlined his thoughts.

(though claims it was in the British Museum have not been verified – see the comments on this page: http://www.infiniteunknown.net/2012/02/17/albert-pike-predicted-three-world-wars-in-1871/ )

But the result of all this political meddling, is seen in increasingly larger distortions in financial markets, and resource wars can lead to hot wars, and hyper-inflation, which if you remember your history, was the fuel that Hitler needed to begin his military build up in the 1930s.

Mike Maloney who has monitored the financial system in the U.S. since the early 2000s, published a recent video to show how these political decisions are only making things worse as a result of FED manipulations as evidenced here.

We have to assume therefore, that this is either naiveté, ignorance, ineptitude, OR we must assume, that these decisions are for their own political agenda. Any other assumption is outside the bounds of possibility.

And America’s involvement in the middle-east, has been less than successful – if you judge success by nations working together to solve problems, but what IS the problem?
Answer: Resources.. and control of them. In other words. Oil! (and Gas.)

Which suggests that the world is quickly teetering towards the financial reset that would eliminate the bankers and this debt and release the Central Banks to raise rates without causing a global downturn of 1930 proportions.

But the rising stars in the world’s economy, also want a bigger say in affairs – see this: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/opinion/the-imf-needs-a-reset.html?_r=2

On a different, but related note, Bix Weir suggests that the recent Glencore price fall is due largely to these financial manipulations and here you can hear his thoughts on what might happen as a result.

And as is mentioned in the video, one of the people accused of financial crime, was finally pardoned by Bill Clinton, just before he left office, and who went on to found Glencore.

Lastly, Bloomberg on 3rd Nov, 2015, released by Julie Hyman, said lower U.S. factory order numbers were down 1%, slightly worse than expectations of 0.9% which would suggest, that all this additional debt being produced around the world is still unable to stifle the larger demographic trend I have often spoke about leading to lower global demand.

And that is just one of the reasons you need to buy silver, gold and crypto-currencies. If you want other reasons, here’s, Alasdair Macleod to explain why…

W.

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