Posted tagged ‘petroleum’

OIL SPECULATORS CASH IN ON LIBYAN TURMOIL

March 8, 2011

OIL SPECULATORS CASH IN ON LIBYAN TURMOIL

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

A full-blown civil war is now brewing as I write this note. As the gloomy events unfold, greedy speculators are busy taking advantage of a conflict situation by playing it up nauseatingly on the petrol spot market. Wars and mini-hotspots surely have a way of making some greedy families make lots of money, so let me add more reflections about the Libyan hot fires’ impact on oil price.

The notorious financier speculators have been planning all along to cash in on a global conflagration that should have pitted the Sunni-Zion alliance versus Iran-led coalition. Such a planned catastrophe was suddenly derailed by the mass rousing of younger generations of Arabs who now desire for the overthrow of their respective tyrants or sovereigns.

With the world war III prospect now sorely diminished, the financiers had to find a quick fix to their addictive greed for easy profits. And that’s how their fixated eyes marveled at the conflict that suddenly unveiled in Libya which, as everybody knows, sits on huge reserves of oil from where the tyrant largely derives his income for country and family.

Nobody knows how long the conflict lasts in Libya, but it is getting clearer as of this writing that Kadhafy’s legitimacy before his own supporters is rapidly effacing. The situation is as fluid as petrol gushing out of Libya’s oil wells, so it pays to keenly observe the events on a day-to-day basis.

One thing though is certain about the conflict’s time frame: it will be short, and no protracted war will come from the forecast loser—tyrant Kadhafy and minions. So, given the short time frame, the speculators have to ride along with the waves of turmoil, and cash in quick on the hot events.

So the spot market is ablaze at this moment with a sort of hour-by-hour anaysis of the situation and superficial forecast of oil prices. Superficial, because insider trading is the in-thing among the dirty players in the same commodity market, with a coterie of financiers fronting for their invisible sponsors among the Anglo-European oligarchs. There is no science into the oil spot market, just plain mafia-type dirty speculations.

Already, retail oil prices are skyrocketing in countries that are dependent on oil imports. In the United States, oil prices get hiked on a daily basis. East Asian countries follow very closely not far behind from the USA in terms of constant rising of retail prices, or those that hurt the pockets of downstream end-users. Food prices are direly affected by the same OPH (oil price hikes), and so you could imagine the glee of another branch of the dirty speculators cashing in on the food commodities trading.

With the dizzying rapidity of the flow of conflict-induced events, we can only surmise that OPH will hover the $170-$200 per barrel of oil (‘sweet crude’ standard). As the events are happening, anti-OPH and anti-food price hikes are now raging across the globe, including the Philippines. These protest actions are complicating the mass panic that is generated by the rising prices of oil & food, with potential hysteria that could explode into food riots in the short run.

While billions of poor folks suffer from the rising prices, the greedy speculators’ pockets are satiated anew rendering them instantly happy over very fat profits. Commodities speculation is done without any compunction over their catastrophic effects on peoples, as they are done by conscienceless market players.

But never forget that the greed of the dirty speculators is insatiable, and so the said financiers’ eyes are again busy searching for some other hot fires in the event that the Libyan conflict ends soon. Those hot fires are no other than the socio-political turmoil that is now brewing across the Arab region.

[Philippines, 04 March 2011]

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OIL PRICES GOING DOWN FOR GOOD? TOO EARLY TO SAY!

July 25, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Good evening from Manila!

We Manilans were met this morning with the seemingly good news that oil price nose dived to $125 per barrel. As this news was released, we have just three (3) days before Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo or GMA, will deliver her State-of-the-Nation Address or SONA.

With due respect to a fellow economist, the eminent world woman leader GM Arroyo should better not say lies comes Monday SONA that her actions on oil tax in Manila are responsible for bringing down global oil. Rather, her regime’s actions on state imports of rice immensely led to more speculation on the global commodities markets that indeed contributed in no small measure to raising the price of rice world-wide, actions that added pressures on oil prices to go up too.

Fellow Earthans, please look at the backyard of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the honorable King pledged before the UN Secretary General last month that the oil wells will pump out more stocks of the commodity so as to shore up the supplies by the month of July. It is now the tail end of July, and so it seems that the Midas touch of the KSA King has been creating sure-fire effects on gas prices.

The question worth asking is, will the latest decline in the price of oil be for good? Remember that the soaring prices of oil were largely caused by massive speculations in the spot markets, conducted by diverse financier groups. To a certain extent, the inflationary patterns in the grains prices also contributed to inflationary patterns in the oil sector.

There was the demand side that was cited as possible cause of the oil price decrease. The observed decline in the usage of oil by American consumers had accordingly factored into the equation, thus reducing oil price in global spot markets.

A simple multivariate analysis would show us that a combination of (a) supply side actions (KSA King’s ‘pump more oil’ policy) and (b) demand side behavior (Americans consume less oil) have (c) dampened speculative pressures and eased oil prices a bit. In other words, the predatory financiers were caught flat-footed by the double-whammy, even as some losing speculators are now hurting badly over the latest developments.

But do mark this: the financiers will strike back. The cyclone season is around, one can muse safely that cyclone devastations will induce short-term shocks on food, oil, and some non-durable commodities. Such eventualities could then induce pressures on cyclone-related or force majeure-coverage insurance, possibly impelling prices of the said commodities to go up from this month till November.

There also is the US federal campaign period coming, which will see inflationary spending from both parties as well as from the federal government as part of pump-priming measures. Such eventualities will altogether lead to new rounds of oil consumption in America, which will continue till the winter months.

No, definitely not, we are not at the tail end yet of oil hyper-inflation. This is the least that I can forecast for the moment.

[Writ 25 July 2008, Manila, Quezon City]

GAS PRICES STAY TO SAVE DOLLAR FROM COLLAPSE

June 11, 2008

Erle Frayne  Argonza

Good afternoon from Manila!

Fellows of Planet Earth, better prepare yourself for the eventualities that have become a fact of life: high gas prices, and high food prices. Let me focus here on high gas prices, although gas and food are very much inter-related.

The good news for those workers and businesses that utilize the US dollar for their transactions is that the dollar will be quite strong for a time. My own forecast is that, over the next twelve (12) months at least, the strong dollar stays. The dollar is used to transact oil, remember, so you’d see its strength sustained for a time as oil price hikes will be the ‘event of the moment’ in the short run.

The dollar was actually already in the downward trend, moving rapidly towards a crash from middle of 2007 onwards. The US recession came, confidence in the dollar was low, and so the currency traders desired so strongly to unload as much dollar as they can before it would go up again.

To make things more hair-raising, the global financiers actually wanted the dollar to get crashed like smashed potato. The financiers’ problem last year was:  which currency to substitute for the dollar given that Uncle Sam’s currency remains as the international legal tender, thanks to the Bretton Woods agreement that ensured this role for the same currency.

The options eventually narrowed down to just two: the (a) Euro or the (b) pounds sterling. Some quarters among the financiers were for the pounds sterling, and it seemed this dominated financier mindsets last year, though there were insiders who opted for the euro.

The next question was, granted that a currency option war clear, say that the pounds sterling will be the currency of the moment, will the volume of pounds across the globe suffice to make a sweeping decision to dump the dollar? The volume of dollars across the globe is simply gargantuan, it just isn’t that easy to play God with this currency.

Finally, at the end of the day, with speculators playing around to keep gas prices up, the forced decision was for the dollar to stay after all. This is, in fact, a revenge of Uncle Sam on those predatory forces who simply wish to play God with currencies and destroy national economies without compunction, no matter if many poor lives will be dead in their crashing effects.

On the other hand, Anglo-American oil men are having a field day as speculative trading has shifted to their side for some time, and will be so for at least twelve (12) months. The US dollar’s downward spiral has been put on hold for a time, and the said oil men will be happier by many folds in the months ahead as their purses will bloat to Glad Tidings.

Fellows, accept this as a fact of life: oil prices will be up. Prepare your necessary contingency measures as their effects will be upon you.

[11 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]