“The theory of Petrodollar Warfare can be attributed to US analyst and author William R Clarke, and his 2005 book of that title which interpreted the US-UK decision to invade Iraq in 2003. He called this an “oil currency war”, but the concept of the petrodollar system and petrodollar recyling dates back to the eve of the first Oil Shock in 1973-1974. The role of the petrodollar system as a driving force of US foreign policy is explained by analysts and historians as basic to maintaining the dollar’s status as the world’s dominant reserve currency – and the currency in which oil is priced.
The term “petrodollar warfare” as used by William R. Clark says that major international war, legal or not, was seen as justified to protect the petrodollar system. Over and above the loss of human life, the combined costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars for the US are controversial like the interpretation of these wars as “oil wars”, but analysts like Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes put the total combined war cost at above $4 trillion. This can be compared with – and totally dwarfs – the annual cost of US oil imports, which are now sharply declining on a year-in year-out basis as domestic shale oil output ramps up, and US oil demand stagnates.
Clarke’s theory, like the explanation of the role and power of the “petrodollar system” depends on two basic drivers. Most major developed countries rely on oil imports, which are purchased using dollars, so they are forced to hold large stockpiles of dollars in order to continue importing oil. In turn this also creates consistent demand for dollars, and prevents the dollar from losing its relative international monetary value, regardless of what happens to the US economy.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Each time the Fed’s balance sheet is expanded, gas prices at the pump surge… strange coincidence or entirely to be expected consequence of flooding the world with newly printed money. Dear Senate, please ask Bernanke to explain this… on Humphrey-Hawkins Report days, gas prices have only been higher once – right before the entire financial market collapsed.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Is the U.S. economy about to experience a major downturn? Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of signs that economic activity in the United States is really slowing down right now. Freight volumes and freight expenditures are way down, consumer confidence has declined sharply, major retail chains all over America are closing hundreds of stores, and the “sequester” threatens to give the American people their first significant opportunity to experience what “austerity” tastes like. Gas prices are going up rapidly, corporate insiders are dumping massive amounts of stock and there are high profile corporate bankruptcies in the news almost every single day now. In many ways, what we are going through right now feels very similar to 2008 before the crash happened. Back then the warning signs of economic trouble were very obvious, but our politicians and the mainstream media insisted that everything was just fine, and the stock market was very much detached from reality. When the stock market did finally catch up with reality, it happened very, very rapidly. Sadly, most people do not appear to have learned any lessons from the crisis of 2008. Americans continue to rack up staggering amounts of debt, and Wall Street is more reckless than ever. As a society, we seem to have concluded that 2008 was just a temporary malfunction rather than an indication that our entire system was fundamentally flawed. In the end, we will pay a great price for our overconfidence and our recklessness.”
‘Gas prices have risen for 32 days straight, according to AAA.
That means that the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has increased more than 13% over that period to $3.73.
It’s hitting wallets right in the middle of winter, when people are already looking at large home heating bills. And it comes just after many Americans have been hit with smaller paychecks, and are worried about looming budget cuts that could deliver an even deeper blow.
What’s behind the higher prices at the pump? It’s a confluence of factors, from rising crude oil prices, to production cuts and refinery closings.
“Right now, things are tight worldwide,” said Ray Carbone, president of New York commodities trading firm Paramount Options. “Refineries going down, unanticipated maintenance, and higher demand … going into driving season.” “
“A combination of high crude prices, refinery shutdowns, and early speculation has sent gas prices soaring to seasonal highs earlier than usual this year, with no signs of prices at the pump falling until spring, according to recent estimates.
Gas prices have climbed every day for the past 25 days, reaching a national average of $3.59 per gallon Monday, the most expensive national average ever for Feb. 11, according to AAA.
During just the past two weeks, average prices have climbed almost 25 cents, the biggest jump in gas prices in almost a year.”
“Hold on to your wallets: we are in the middle of a gas price spike, and experts say it will only get worse.
CBS 2′s Courtney Gousman learned several factors might push the price in our area to more than $4 a gallon.
It’s now become a task most people dread — pulling up to the pump.
“I never know depending on the day,” said motorist Carrie Secrist.
“It’s no fun at the pump,” said driver Veta Charles.”
“A new film starring Matt Damon presents American oil and natural gas producers as money-grubbing villains purportedly poisoning rural American towns. It is therefore of particular note that it is financed in part by the royal family of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates.
The creators of Promised Land have gone to absurd lengths to vilify oil and gas companies, as Scribe’s Michael Sandoval noted Wednesday. Since recent events have demonstrated the relative environmental soundness of hydraulic fracturing – a technique for extracting oil and gas from shale formations – Promised Land’s script has been altered to make doom-saying environmentalists the tools of oil companies attempting to discredit legitimate “fracking” concerns.”
Via The Foundry
“For starters, many average Americans who hold stock in the oil companies, either directly or indirectly through their 410k or mutual fund. But the fact is, the gross profit margin for a gallon of gas in America today, is what it has always been, on average, .08 cents per gallon, (2.5% at $3.00 per gallon). Though retail gas prices fluctuate with crude prices and supply vs. demand, the gross profit margin per gallon remains roughly the same at all times. (No evidence of price gouging here.)
However the federal government profits approximately .59 cents per gallon through gasoline taxes, 7 ½ times or 750% that of the oil producers themselves and 20% of the price at the pumps. Pay attention here, Washington liberals are attacking oil companies for their 2.5% gross profit margin, while Washington is profiting 20% per gallon. Democrats answer? Tax some more?
If oil companies cut their profit margins by 50%, it would drop the price of a gallon of gas by only .04 cents per gallon. If Washington law makers cut their take by 50%, gasoline would cost .30 cents per gallon less. If the federal government didn’t tax gasoline at all, the price per gallon at the pumps would be $2.40 per gallon instead of $3.00 per gallon and the oil companies would still be at a respectable 2.5% gross profit margin. Who is gouging whom?”
Via JB Williams
“Average retail gasoline prices have more than doubled under President Obama, according to government statistics, rising from $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon.
The average gasoline price is calculated by the Energy Information Agency, and shows that over the past 43 months of President Obama’s term retail gasoline prices have more than doubled, rising from an average of $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon.
Rising gasoline prices were particularly prevalent in August, which saw a 9.0 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for gasoline, a rise that almost entirely accounts for the general increase in prices seen by families across the country over the past month.”
Via CNS News