The two oil shocks of the 1970s saw gold prices rise by more than 24 fold (2,300%) in just 9 years - from $35/oz to $850/oz see chart above). To put that in perspective, today gold's rise has been far more gradual and it has risen some 5 fold (430%) in 11 years - from $250/oz to $1,330/oz. In this regard it resembles gold’s rise from $35/oz in 1971 to nearly $200/oz in late 1974 – a six fold increase. Given the significant macroeconomic, systemic, monetary and geopolitical risks of today gold is likely to perform again as it did in the 1970s. A 20 fold increase from trough in 1999 to peak sometime in the coming years would see gold rising to over $5000/oz. This may seem outlandish to those unaware of gold's fundamentals but the very small supply of gold internationally, increasing demand (particularly from investors and central banks), the sovereign debt crisis in the EU (soon to spread to the U.S.) and the debasement of the dollar, the euro and other currencies internationally makes this increasingly possible.
What could the ruler of Egypt’s turmoils possible have to do with the
need to takeover even more banks in western Europe and the potential
default of several members of the PIIGS group? Read on, my dear friend…
While the biggest threat to the Middle East region is the possibility that the population of Saudi Arabia may try to imitate what has been happening in the area, thereby bringing total chaos to the established regional geopolitical and more importantly, energy, structure, the first protests in the Saudi Arabia city of Jeddah are already in the books. The clip below shows the peaceful demonstrations that have taken place recently, which as Fedupmontrealer explains are "taking place in front of the Municipality in protest of the severe lack
of infrastructure, and corruption, that led the city to be inundated this week causing billions of dollars of damages for the second time in two years." That this is even occurring in a state where the average wealth is orders of magnitude greater than in Egypt is remarkable. On the other hand, we expect more news such as those from yeserday that Kuwait is paying its citizens $3,500 plus free food for a year to keep calm. Oddly, visions of money dropping helicopters, infinitely extendable unemployment insurance and tax breaks keep dancing in our head. Those who wish to follows the latest developments out of Jedda which appears could be the lightning rod for Saudi riots can do so by tracking #JeddahProtests on Twitter.
Egypt’s Social Unrest As A Pan-European Economic and Financial Contagion? Let’s Walk Through The LogicSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 01/28/2011 16:24 -0400
It's not as if this couldn't have been seen coming. For those that believe this event, and all of the other events of the recent past, and the Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis, and the China bubble, and... Well I think you can taste the flavor of this post. Contagion is in the air. It's hard to determine precisely the where and the when, but I don't think the question is "if"...
Some odds and ends from the "spooks".
Forget Food Riots In Africa, Simon Black Says The Canary In The Inflationary Coal Mine Is In Southeast AsiaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/18/2011 14:55 -0400
Laos, with its vast resources and small population, might loosely be considered an agricultural version of Kuwait. But Laos is nowhere near as wealthy, since oil is much pricier than rice, soy, and fish. Given its resources, it certainly seems ironic that the prices of staple foods in Laos, including rice, have soared in recent months, and that the Laotian government is now under intense pressure to "do something" about it. You expect this sort of thing to happen in Algeria, where the population is 35 million, where only 2% of the land is cultivated, and where agriculture makes up but a tiny percentage of the economy... but in Laos? This is akin to finding Kuwaitis unable to afford filling up their cars due to high gas prices. It's unthinkable. Thing is, it's not that there are food shortages in Laos; this isn't an issue where supply has failed to keep up with demand (thus resulting in rising prices). The price hikes are simply another indicator of monetary inflation causing severe price inflation, particularly in the developing world.
As the conventional and cheap oil and gas start to dry up in the Middle East… a bigger, even better opportunity seeks to replace it.
For many who aren’t familiar with the region, the Middle East comes across as an updated version of Lawrence’s Arabia, only with lots of oil. But this mosaic of cultures isn’t made up of only Arabs or Muslims, and most Middle East countries are neither awash with heavily armed, rather excitable citizenry… nor with black gold, which is what we’re interested in. Twenty-three countries comprise the Arab League, but only Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iran are major oil producers.
Simon Black currently in Santiago, Chile, presents a quick introspective on the key events of 2010, before moving on to a few broad forecasts for 2011. We hope his predictive ability is better than that of one Byron Wien. The key among Simon's predictions is that very soon we may see the same kind of power vacuum that brought about the Thermidorian Reaction in that last major systemic overhaul. Of course, the fact that we still have to experience a an actual storming of the Bastille is a little perturbing. But everything in due course...
"Most people believe that most oil in the world is produced by the big oil companies, the Exxons, the Shells, the BPs, the Totals of the world... That is not true. Most oil in the world is produced by national oil companies.”
The prevalence of crude is undeniable. You might dabble in green-think cultism or you might drive an obnoxious monolith of a Hummer (what I like to call an “overcompensation-mobile”), but neither philosophy of consumption dares to contradict that this world runs on oil. Petroleum is used in the manufacture or shipping of almost every industrial product on the planet, and even many agricultural goods. Therefore, it behooves the public to seriously consider the ramifications of oil price and its underlying effect on the entirety of our economy. Even minor increases holding over an extended period of time cause economic reverberations that can be felt for years afterwards. Financial and social adjustments to commodity inflation can sometimes take decades if the event is historically unprecedented. Petroleum is a foundation ingredient, it is energy itself; the higher its cost, the greater the cost of every other product we use, and the worse off our financial structure is. Period. There is no scenario yet experienced by any nation in which oil inflation actually benefited the masses or the overall economy, even in countries that sell oil! Americans have had a small taste of the tensions involved in an oil crisis, during the 1979-1980 Iranian snafu, and the massive gas spike of 2008, but these events are nothing compared to the steamrolling inflation we are soon to see at the pump in the next couple of years. Let’s examine why…
Merkel Points to `Serious’ Bailout Risk as Spanish Bonds Drop, Reggie Middleton says “Ya Damn Skippy” – Here’s How We Called ItSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/23/2010 18:24 -0400
Contagion in the Europe is a foregone conclusion and its risk cannot be truly priced in since no one really knows where it will kick off, how, and what direction it will take through which channels. All that is known for sure is that you have a collective of nations that have been purposely over-optimistic in forecasts, purposely misleading regarding their past and present liabilities and mired in debt and bad assets amid an inevitable hard landing - or worse.
Erin Gone Broken Bank: The 2nd EMU Nation That Didn’t Need a Bailout Get’s Bailed Out Within Months, Next Up???Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/22/2010 09:24 -0400
Exactly was we predicted in the beginning of the year, Ireland is the 2nd Euro nation that didn't need a bailout to get bailed out! Now that some may start taking this seriously, I go through a quick history of how we got to this point and prep for an intense analysis of how the contagion will unfold, how ugly the haircuts (that nobody needs, of course) will get, and who may be the next domino to fall.
It's been exactly one year since I wrote about an exciting but controversial treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), called the Liberation treatment. A lot has happened in a year, and I think it's important to share some of my thoughts with you. Please feel free to relay the information back to anyone you know who has MS.
As I peer through the fog and attempt to see visions of things to be, I see nothing but pain ahead. Anyone who can look at the following chart and not conclude that there is much pain ahead for this country is either a Goldman Sachs banker, a Federal Reserve Governor, or a bought off politician in Washington DC. It is no coincidence that after Richard Nixon closed the gold window in 1971 and allowed the Federal Reserve to “manage” our economy that total debt outstanding in the US surged from $2 trillion to over $50 trillion. GDP has risen by 1,300% since 1971, while total US debt has risen by 2,600%. Now for the kicker. Real GDP has only gone up by 292% since 1971. This means that 1,000% of the increase in GDP was from Federal Reserve created inflation. Over this same time frame, real wages have declined by 6%, from $318 per week in 1971 to $299 per week today. Inflation has been the American drug of choice to commit suicide over the last 40 years. It is stealthy, seemingly painless, and deadly. Inflation is the “painless” method through which the Federal Reserve has decided this country will commit suicide.