POWERFUL BULLMARKET IN US STOCKS LOOMS as the US prepares for GLOBAL HEGEMONY
April 27th, 2008
Back in the late 20th century there were predictions that the 21st century would be characterized by “resource wars” where fighting breaks out between countries and aligned groups of countries, as they scramble to secure increasingly scarce commodities for themselves, principally oil and water. Barely had we entered the new century when a major resource war began, with the big surprise being that it was not some banana republic suddenly deciding to invade and loot its neighbor’s territory, but instead the most powerful country on earth muscling its way around an entire region on the other side of the planet in order to position itself to plunder its oil resources en masse for itself.
I want it all, I want it now - but then what? - most projections show Peak Oil to be occurring about now, or to be imminent.
The United States, more than any other country, is an economy dependant on an abundant supply of cheap oil. The per capita use of oil in the US vastly outstrips that of most countries in the world, the two principal reasons for this being that the infrastructure of the country has been developed on the assumption that cheap oil will continue indefinitely, and the other reason is that taxes on gasoline are held are much lower levels than in many other nations for political reasons. Back around the middle of the last century the big oil companies in the US, with the collusion of government, set out to intentionally destroy the public transport system in the US, in order to force the population to use automobiles more and thus burn more gas netting more profits for oil companies, and they were largely successful in achieving this objective. For the same reason they also encouraged massive urban sprawl and the development of suburbia, so that millions of people have to drive huge distances to get to work - a reason why gas taxes have to be held at much lower levels than in other countries such as Great Britain, where they are exorbitantly high. Clearly, if affordable gasoline disappears, then the countless vast tracts of suburbia in the US will become middle class ghettoes. Once you grasp the implications of this you will immediately comprehend why the United States is particularly aggressive about access to oil supplies and will stop at nothing to secure them. The United States is structured geared to the profligate consumption of oil and would collapse without it.
Aren’t we lucky to be alive now, instead of in AD1000 or 3000.
Will it come to this? - it nearly did in the early 70’s, when these vouchers were printed but not used.
Day that changed the world - without the catastrophic events of this day, the “War on Terror” would not have been possible - and neither would the invasion of Iraq.
Defining moment: this heavily stage-managed event symbolized the conquest of Iraq.
Mission Accomplished - but invading was the “easy” part.
War Hero - George W Bush “struts his stuff” on the USS Abraham Lincoln, on the high seas about 30 miles from the coast of San Diego.
Oil chess board - no prizes for guessing where they’re headed next.
Turning now to Iran, this is the only remaining significant country in the Mid-East that is not already either a client state of the United States or big western oil multinationals, like Saudi Arabia or the Gulf states, or already subject to military occupation. It is not in compliance, and can therefore expect to be forcibly dealt with at some point in the future. If it had no oil, and was not perceived to be a potential threat to Israel, it would perhaps be left alone, but it does have oil and Israel, at least, perceives it to be a threat.
Now, it is known that Bush and Cheney would like to “finish the job” and complete their hat trick of 3 invasions before they leave office - Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, but unfortunately the US military has been so worn down by the attrition of Iraq that it is presently in no state to mount a sustainable invasion of Iran. Furthermore, it makes sense to take the time to digest the gains already made before moving on to the next campaign. This will involve straightening out the security situation in Iraq, at least regarding the protection of US military personnel and the oil company operatives who are waiting in the wings to exploit the territories’ oil wealth. Then the military can regroup and prepare themselves for pastures new. In the meantime the “easy” option of heavy bombing of Iran, designed to weaken it militarily and neuter it economically, with the aim, sooner or later, of moving in to seize at least the south-western corner of the country, where the vast bulk of Iran’s oil is located, remains on the table. The eventual aim is thought to be to gain control of the country as part of the long-term strategic goal of surrounding Russia, possibly by subverting the government and installing a US-friendly puppet regime, along the lines of the color coded governments such as the orange one in the Ukraine - a new Shah of Iran perhaps?
Even though an attempted invasion of Iran before the November elections is considered most unlikely, for logistical reasons, a bombing campaign remains a possibility. With regard to the timing of this we must look to the mainstream media for clues. The public mind must be prepared to accept such an operation, with clustered news items to the effect that Iran is responsible for attacks on US troops, on The Green Zone, and for arming the insurgents etc.
The consequences of a bombing campaign by the US, and possibly Britain and Israel on Iran are somewhat unpredictable, to say the least, but one thing we can fairly sure of and that is that the price of oil will spike spectacularly. The price has already been climbing steadily for weeks, which may even be due in part to anticipation of such an attack, and a major supply disruption will send it through the roof.
Technically, the oil price has arrived at the top of its long-term uptrend channel, and in the absence of military action against Iran in the near future, or a buildup towards the same, it looks set to react back across its trend channel or at least consolidate for a while. Traders and investors in crude oil and oil stocks should however remain aware of the risk of an attack, which if it does take place can be expected to cause a dramatic spike. Gold and silver would also spike in consequence.
Complete control of the Mid-East, which the United States and the major oil companies are now close to having achieved, of course confers massive power over the rest of world, in particular over rising economic powers such as China and India and the immense leverage that this will in time afford can be used to steer these countries in whatever direction is desired. The US is believed to be involved in a strategic race against time to corner the bulk of the world’s remaining oil reserves, the control of which can then be used to dissuade countries like China from resorting to the wholesale dumping of dollars or US Treasuries, along the lines of “Try it and we’ll cut off your oil supply”, which one would expect to be couched in more diplomatic language. Because of its gargantuan levels of debt the US is acutely vulnerable now, but with time it plans to tip the scales back in its favor partly by sales of its recently acquired plunder. Anyone who has watched those David Attenborough nature programs about seal colonies on beaches will know that the US is like the “beach master”, the huge bull elephant seal, taking possession of all of the females on the beach and jealously guarding them, while China and Russia are the other strong contenders, who don’t quite have the strength or size to try to assert dominance and as a result can only make gains when the beach master suffers some drastic reversal of fortune. The irony is that China now has the power to stop the US in its tracks, by dumping its vast dollar and Treasury holdings, which would send the US economy straight over a cliff, but it is unlikely it will do this because it can’t stomach the consequences to itself or its people of doing so.
There are those who believe that the multinational oil companies and US interests will not be left in peace in Iraq to reap the fruits of their exploits. What these people don’t understand is that in order to make it possible to develop Iraq’s oil infrastructure and actually ship out the oil in quantity an apartheid system will be created across the country, which is scheduled to be partitioned and balkanized. The indigenous people will largely be confined to their towns and cities and specific rural areas and ruled over by the US installed puppet government - they won’t be allowed anywhere near the oil installations, which will be run mainly by imported technicians and service personnel. The country will essentially be run as an oilfield, with the original inhabitants being marginalized and viewed as incidental. The infrastructure for this system of control is currently under construction and as it approaches completion the vulnerability of US and coalition military personnel and consequent casualties will decrease significantly.
This is a long article, and it is therefore important to conclude by focusing on the most important points.
1. The resource wars of the 21st century are now well underway, with the US and Britain leading the charge in the Mid-East, behind the façade of the War on Terror. The goal is complete control of the Mid-East oilfields, which will be achieved by a combination of the already existing client states such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and the forcible acquisition of remaining oil rich countries. Logic dictates that the next country to be appropriated will be Iran, and although they would like to take in addition the oil rich countries around the Caspian Sea, an attempt to do so would result in a direct confrontation with Russia, so instead they will bide their time and likely attempt to subvert these countries politically.
2. Peak Oil is upon us, or very close at hand. The combination of rising population and strong increase in demand for oil from developing countries such as China and India, coupled with inelasticity in demand for oil, at least on the downside, is likely to force a continuing uptrend in the price of oil, although this may be mitigated once Iraq is brought on stream in a big way.
3. As the oil price is an underlying component of the price of food, the price of food is likely to continue to rise, a situation that will be exacerbated by the recently fashionable and rather bizarre practice of turning food into fuel. This can be expected to lead to widespread unrest and possible anarchy in many poorer countries.
4. The seizure of Iraq is widely perceived to be have been a blunder. From the strategic standpoint of the US elites it was no such thing. The oil reserves contained within Iraq are gigantic, and thus its acquisition was a major economic and security leap forward for the United States. In addition its central position within the region and the earlier acquisition of Afghanistan make the eventual appropriation of oil-rich Iran an almost foregone conclusion. In comparison with the US strategic planners, those in the European Union are hopelessly naïve and ineffectual - they can’t even organize the trash collection in Naples.
5. The United States is desperately sick economically, with an economy lamed by gargantuan debt, outsourcing and rampant speculation, and yet somehow it manages to spend more on its military machine than every other country in the world combined. This is only possible because the dollar has been, up until now, the world currency, and because the US is living on the rest of the world’s savings. The supreme irony is that the rest of the world is financing the US takeover of the Mid-East, and in a few years countries which have had, and have right now, the power to stop the US in its tracks by dumping dollars and Treasuries, but can’t face the dire consequences of doing so, will have to kow-tow to the US for oil. Once that time arrives they won’t dare dump US paper and face the retribution of having their oil supply cut off and their economies shut down. At present the US is only militarily the greatest power on earth, but in a few years it looks set to assume comprehensive hegemony of the planet, as the massive oil revenues from the spoils of the Mid-East campaigns flow in and correct the careening deficits. China will then comply with US demands or the oil tap will be swiveled in the off direction. Russia, currently blessed by an abundant supply of oil and other natural resources, should do well, but will be surrounded and eventually forced into compliance as its resources dwindle and it becomes increasingly isolated. Britain, as the 1st officer of the US in its wars of acquisition, will enjoy a privileged place at the table in an increasingly resource starved world. Israel will look on with quiet satisfaction at all of this.
6. Now we crystallize the most important point of this article, which is what the whole thing has been leading up to. As we have already noted, the United States is widely perceived as an economic basket case on account of its astronomic debts and weakened domestic economy, but it is in the process of seizing control of the world’s most important remaining oil reserves and bringing them on line. Once it has achieved this it will not just be the greatest military power on earth but will assume center stage as the greatest economic power on earth as well and be completely unassailable. By that time no other country will dare to, or perhaps even want to, dump dollars or US Treasuries. As we have observed on www.clivemaund.com in the recent past, the US stockmarket has refused to make new lows (apart from a fleeting intraday new low) for a couple of months now, despite all the doom and gloom flying around, and the volume internals of the market are bullish. So it would appear that Smart Money is beginning to get a handle on what’s cooking as set out here. If our evaluation of the situation is correct, and China continues to play ball by not dumping US dollars or Treasuries, despite the Tibet provocation in the western media, then the US stockmarket is poised for a powerful bull market advance, as the injection of massive amounts of newly created liquidity works its magic and eases the global financial crisis. This advance would initially take the market back to its highs, but should later continue on to new highs. The huge global increases in money supply are of course highly inflationary and should continue to fuel a robust bull market in commodities, including gold and silver, even if they get put on the back burner and continue to correct for a while as the focus shifts to the broad stockmarket. Right now the US stock markets are poised to break out above the crucial 1400 resistance level on the S&P500 index, an event that could easily trigger a 400 - 500 point up day on the Dow Jones Industrials.
April 27th, 2008
Clive Maund is an English technical analyst, holding a diploma from the Society of Technical Analysts, Cambridge and lives in Copiapo, Chile.
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