War is so horrible that most people don’t want to think about it. That’s understandable, but the consequences could be tragic. From Chris MacIntosh at internationalman.com:
Things are a tad wonky.
The problem that market participants are not thinking about is this. When combining the most levered global and US economy in the history of our planet, record low interest rates (lowest in recorded history), the greatest disruption to world’s energy supplies as well as direct and indirect attacks on our food networks, not to mention sanctions against Russia and hence Ukraine — two major exporters of food. The consequences of all of this have delivered to us the highest inflation in four decades… oh, and this was BEFORE the Russkies went hunting for biolabs in Ukraine and the attendant fallout.
The result… or at least one result is in the graph below.
Posted in Business, Collapse, Debt, Economics, Economy, Energy, Financial markets, Geopolitics, Governments, Politics, War
Tagged Food, Monetary inflation
If you haven’t already, start stocking up. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at theburningplatform.com:
- It’s becoming increasingly clear that severe food shortages are going to be inevitable, more or less worldwide, and whatever food is available will continue to go up in price
- The cost of agricultural inputs such as diesel and fertilizers is skyrocketing due to shortages — caused by a combination of intentional and coincidental events — and those costs will be reflected in consumer food prices come fall and next year
- Mysterious fires, alleged bird flu outbreaks and other inexplicable events are killing off livestock and destroying crucial infrastructure. Since the end of April 2021, at least 96 farms, food processing plants and food distribution centers across the U.S. have been damaged or destroyed
- The global food price index had risen 58.5% above the 2014-2016 average as of April 2022, due to a convergence of post-pandemic global demand, extreme weather, tightening food stocks, high energy prices, supply chain bottlenecks, export restrictions, taxes and the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Posted in Business, Collapse, Economics, Economy, Energy, Governments, History, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Food shortages, Ukraine-Russia War
Even if you can’t stand Biden, it hurts to see a U.S. president kowtow to the Saudi regime to help alleviate the consequences of his own idiocy. From Benjamin Zycher at realclearenergy.org:
President Biden will attend the Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Saudi Arabia next month, with the explicit goal of convincing the GCC — that is, the Saudis — to increase production of crude oil as a tool with which reduce gasoline prices in the U.S. From a recent press conference:
Q: And my question on Saudi Arabia: Why not have the President go there and just not meet with the Crown Prince?
MR. KIRBY: The President is going to Saudi for the GCC — the GCC+3, to be honest. It’s nine states in the region. There’s a big agenda there, Kaitlan, on the Gulf Cooperation Council. It’s counterterrorism. It’s climate change. Certainly, it’s — oil production, obviously, is going to be on the agenda.
OPEC production of crude oil and other liquids is about 34-35 million barrels per day (mmbd), of which Saudi output is about 10 mmbd, out of global production of around 100 mmbd. OPEC surplus production capacity is about 3 mmbd, of which the Saudi share is about 1 mmbd.
Europe is looking at an ugly combination of rising prices, a faltering euro, contracting economies, and they’re taking their biggest supplier of energy off-line. From Bruce Wilds at brucewilds.blogspot.com:
The Ukraine conflict is taking a toll on the Euro-zone and it could result in finally pushing it over the edge. Everything flowing from Russia’s incursion poses a big negative for the region which is already struggling. When you couple soaring energy prices with stagnate growth and a growing trade balance with China you have the recipe for disaster. This is also apparent on the inflation front.
According to Reuters, the Euro-zone inflation rate surged to yet another record high in May. Inflation accelerated to 8.1% in May from 7.4% in April. A big part of the problem is that it is no longer just energy pulling up the headline figure. Looking past the headline figure, we find excluding food and energy prices, inflation rose to 4.4% year-on-year from 3.9%. This puts pressure on the European Central Bank to increase rates further. The timing of such a move is horrible in that Europe’s dust-up with Russia has brought to the forefront just how weak Europe is.
Posted in Business, Collapse, Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Energy, Governments, Morality, Politics, Propaganda
Tagged Europe, Ukraine-Russia War, Trade imbalances
The Greens want to return us to the pre-industrial age, and we’re all supposed to accept it. Ayn Rand had these people pegged over 50 years ago. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:
Those of us who aren’t mainlining TV and Facebook have a fairly clear understanding that the rulership of the West is in trouble: their debts are far beyond payable, while the global East and South are starting to pull away. Having only two primary options – system collapse or reduced standards of living – they are opting for the second.
The great challenge facing rulership, then, is to make their flocks accept being poorer… to get used to being poor. And to make that happen, they’re promoting a new religion, which we can simply call Green.
The real purpose of the Green faith is for you to welcome lower standards of living.
For example, “sustainable agriculture,” no matter how reverently it’s name is intoned, actually means “lower crop yields and fewer animals per acre.” All the rest is misdirection… “Boob bait for the Bubbas,” as an old senator used to say.
Posted in Collapse, Economics, Economy, Energy, Environment, Governments, History, Horseshit, Politics, Propaganda, Society
Tagged Poverty, Green ideology
The failure to recognize their own economic vulnerabilities more than anything marks a complete failure to think by the West’s supposedly leading lights. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:
Europe’s future looks bleak. It is now pressed by its own imposition of sanctions, and the resultant spike in commodity prices. The EU is lumbering around in a daze.
Western self-destruction – a puzzle defying any unique causal explanation – continues. The examples where policy is pursued in apparent indifference to anything resembling rigorous reflection, has become so extreme as to provoke a former British military chief (and former head of NATO forces in Afghanistan), Lord Richards, to huff that the relationship between strategy and any synchronisation of ends has become hopelessly broken in the West.
The West pursues a “let’s see how it goes” ‘strategy’, or in other words, no real strategy at all, Richards contends. Many would say that a cult of unrelenting, untethered, positive spin, has asphyxiated mainstream critical faculties. How is it that the West, awash with ‘think-tanks’, invariably gets it so wrong? Why is it that facile memes and illusions, posing as geo-politics, get little or no challenge? Compliance to official and mainstream narratives is all. It is baffling to observe this becoming routine, without apparent cognizance of the risks which this entails.
Sanctions on Russia have distorted global energy markets and refinery runs. From Rystad Energy at oilprice.com:
- Diesel and gasoline markets are witnessing crack spreads in the $50-$60 per barrel range due to inventory stocks across the world being at record lows.
- The global oil demand recovery looks resilient as the final Covid-related restrictions are being removed around the world.
- Refining capacity in both Europe and the U.S. has fallen dramatically in the last decade, making the replacement of low inventories particularly difficult.
Global diesel and gasoline markets are witnessing blowout crack spreads in the US$50-60 per barrel (bbl) range, reflecting a clear lag in the refining system to respond effectively and decide between supplying diesel or gasoline. The precarious situation is driven by inventory stocks across the globe being at their lowest levels historically and, therefore, unable to provide the necessary shock absorbers. The loss of Russian refining owing to operational outages and product containment challenges has caused a diesel/gasoline hole greater than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in Europe that is not easy to plug, Rystad Energy research shows.
“Diesel is the lifeblood of the global economy, essential to vital sectors such as agriculture, construction, and transportation – its price impacts almost all supply chains and goods. Governments face tough decisions. They can assist consumers by dropping taxes on diesel, but this will likely only increase demand, which may support the overall economy but will worsen the existing tight supply situation. If supply does not improve, governments will be forced to enact emergency plans to limit sales to consumers in order to ensure essential sectors are kept going,” says Per Magnus Nysveen, Head of Analysis at Rystad Energy.
By now its become easier to cut through the propaganda, find honest sources, and understand what is happening in Ukraine. However, the perspective that this fiasco may be symptomatic of the collapse of the American empire and its satrapies has yet to take hold, at least in the West. Gaius Baltar has that perspective and backs it up with some sound arguments. From Baltar at thesaker.is:
Some knowledgeable people, apparently including the Pope, are beginning to suspect that there may be more going on in the world than just the war in the Ukraine. They say that World War 3 has already started and things will get worse from now on. This can be difficult to determine while we are participating in the unfolding events and do not have the benefit of the historical perspective. It is doubtful that people back in 1939 realized that they were looking at the start of a major worldwide conflict, although some may have suspected it.
The current global situation is in many ways like a giant jigsaw puzzle where the general public only sees a tiny part of the complete picture. Most don’t even realize that there may be more pieces and don’t even ask these simple questions: Why is all this happening and why is it happening now?
Things are more complicated than most people realize. What they see is the evil wizard Vladimir Saruman Putin invading innocent Ukraine with his orc army – for absolutely no reason. This is a simplistic view, to say the least because nothing happens without a reason. Let’s put things in perspective and see what is really going on – and why the world is going crazy before our eyes. Let’s see what World War 3 is all about.
Posted in Collapse, Economics, Energy, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, Propaganda, War
Tagged Ukraine-Russia War, World War III
Those sanctions are just killing the Russians. From Tsvetana Paraskova at oilprice.com:
- Chinese imports of Russian crude surged by 55 percent in May as the world’s biggest importer of oil took advantage of major discounts.
- Russia has now overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier.
- While Russia is sending lots more crude to Asia, it is unlikely that the Asian market can absorb all 4 million barrels that were going to Europe.
China imported a record volume of Russian crude in May, with arrivals surging by 55 percent to nearly 2 million barrels per day (bpd). This has made Russia the top oil supplier to the world’s leading crude importer—putting it ahead of Saudi Arabia for the first time in a year and a half. A record volume of cheap Russian oil, which sells at steep discounts to crude from other countries, made its way to Chinese refiners last month, according to figures from China’s General Administration of Customs cited by Reuters.
China imported 1.98 million bpd of Russian crude oil in May, up by 55 percent from May last year and up from 1.59 million bpd of Russian oil imported in April 2022, the data showed.
The high purchases of Russian oil outstripped supply from Saudi Arabia, Russia’s partner in the OPEC+ deal. Chinese imports of Saudi crude averaged 1.84 million bpd in May, up by 9 percent compared to May 2021, but down from 2.17 million bpd imported in April, according to the data cited by Reuters.
Thanks to the increased shipments of cheap crude to China, Russia became the top supplier to the world’s biggest oil importer for the first time in 19 months, per Reuters estimates.
Fossils fuels have been a great boon to humanity, creating unprecedented advances in living standards. Now they’re trying to reverse all that, and the effect on living standards will be tragically predictable. From Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD, at lewrockwell.com:
In my writings for LewRockwell.com I first focused on climate change in “Finding Truth in Phoenix,” in 2003 after attending the 21st Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness held in Phoenix, Arizona that year.
Willie Soon, PhD, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, gave the first talk, on climate change. He refuted claims that the 1990s was the warmest decade of the millennium and that the 20th century was warmer than any other century.
Robert Balling, PhD, Director of the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University showed that the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere, measured by balloon and satellite thermometers had not changed in the previous 25 years, even though CO2 levels were rising. And Sherwood Idso, PhD,
President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change found that a 300 ppm (parts per million) boost in concentration of CO2 increases the productivity of plants by 30 to 50 percent. Orange trees produce twice as many oranges, each with 20 percent greater vitamin C when the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere doubles, from 300 to 600 ppm. (Atmospheric carbon dioxide was 370 ppm in 2003 and is 421 ppm now.)
Posted in Business, Economics, Economy, Energy, Governments, History, Horseshit, Politics, Propaganda, Science
Tagged Climate, Fossil fuels