27 September, 2004

$50, baby!

Oil is trading at $49.74/bbl (for U.S. light crude) today, based on some other nonsense in Nigeria. With all this flirting one has to believe that there's some taboo people are afraid to break... maybe oil price will asymptotically approach $50 but never reach it. One day on the exchange floor some greenhorn will, in a pique of overexcitement, wave his fistful of bids in the air and shout "Fifty!" Silence descends on the floor: someone has spoken the forbidden number. Some turn to stare at the suddenly abashed trader, but most just look uncomfortably at their shoes. Then, slowly, the murmuring of the crowd begins again, and trading resumes; the shout is forgotten.

But that's silly. Of COURSE oil will hit $50. It's only a matter of when... (Betting pool, anyone? Winter travel season is coming up...). At this point you wonder, "Why aren't our thoughtless, heartless, gutless leaders doing anything about this?" Well, don't get your knickers in a twist, it turns out they already may have.

The press likes to play Kerry's indecision as mastery of nuance, but I think Kerry is merely a confused liberal idiot. Bush is the real master, able to blend a myriad forms of greed and hubris into one coherent ideology, the Iraq War, obviously, being the centerpiece of this bit of brilliance. Consider: in one fell swoop, they struck a blow for Zionism, Christianity, American hegemony, militarism, colonialism, war-profiteering, and, of course, oil. N.B. this ZNet article about Iraq's oil, and declassified documents showing that Cheney's secret energy task force carefully studied Iraq's fields and who had a stake in them.

Of course, the brilliance of their strategy seems to be breaking down somewhat, and the prospect of actually getting any oil out of Iraq seems highly dubious. But one has to admire the sheer audacity, the bollocks it takes to conceive such a simple and brilliant scheme to solve the nation's energy woes:

"It's fucking genius, George! We'll just STEAL IT!"

UPDATE: In case you missed it, the U.S. light crude price briefly flitted above $50 shortly after I wrote this. No betting pool, sorry...

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