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Trump Asks Putin for Help in Oil War
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Russia November. 21, 2016 Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin standing together. Russian and american flags.

Donald Trump called Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss plunging oil prices that are wreaking havoc on America’s shale oil industry. The two leaders talked briefly about the coronavirus pandemic but quickly switched to Trump’s real concern which is oil production.

For the last month, Saudi Arabia has been flooding the market with crude oil to force Russia to agree to deep production cuts. To his credit, Putin has stubbornly resisted Saudi coercion and maintained current output levels. As a result, prices have plummeted to an 18-year low of $20.09 per barrel which is well below the break-even rate that American frackers need to survive. In less than a month, the capital-intensive US shale oil industry has gone into a steep nosedive that has set off alarms on Wall Street where analysts expect that a wave of defaults will deliver a knockout blow to the big investment banks. That’s why Trump decided to call Putin. He wants to see if he can persuade the Russian president into slashing production.

It’s worth noting, that Putin remained stoically silent when the Trump administration imposed economic sanctions on Russia for its alleged activities in Ukraine. Nor did the Russian president complain about Washington’s meddling in Syria or its attempts to block Russia’s pipelines to Germany and Bulgaria. (Nordstream and Southstream) But now that the shoe is on the other foot and US business interests are being hurt, Trump thinks nothing of calling Moscow for help. As one critic said, “It looks like the Trump team can dish it out, but it can’t take it.”

The phone call has gotten almost no coverage in the American media, which is to be expected since there’s no way to spin an incident in which an American president is clearly pleading to “evil” Putin for a favor. The Russian state media, Tass, summarized the phone call in a terse 3-sentence statement that excluded any useful background. Here’s an excerpt:

“The leaders discussed also the current status of the world’s oil market. “An arrangement was made on Russian-US consultations in this regard through energy department heads,” the Kremlin said. “Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump agreed to continue personal contacts.” (Tass)

Notice how the report in Tass forgoes the baseless allegations and recriminations that typically appear in the western media. Given the deluge of “Russian meddling” disinformation that has dominated the headlines for the last 3 years, you’d think the editors at Tass might be more critical of Trump’s gesture, after all, Trump’s phone call strongly suggests that Washington is ready to cave in to its “mortal enemy” provided it gets the production cuts it wants. It seems like Tass might want to offer an opinion about that, especially since the MSM has taken such a hostile approach to all-things-Russian. Apparently, not everyone uses their media to push their own narrow political agenda.

Some readers might recall how Trump scolded Putin in Helsinki in 2018 for pushing oil prices higher ($85 per barrel) which Trump claimed was hurting growth in the US. Not surprisingly, Trump had his facts wrong. The reason prices rose in 2018 was because the Trump administration clapped harsh economic sanctions on both Iran and Venezuela which caused an immediate decline in production followed by a sharp rise in prices. The US also supported the attack on Libya also contributed to the spike in prices. Bottom line: Russia was no more responsible for the high prices in 2018 than it is for the low prices today. In 2018 the problem was US sanctions that choked off supply, while in 2020 the problem is the Saudis. It’s the Saudis that increased production not Russia. That doesn’t mean that Putin can’t help to ease the situation, but it does mean that the two leaders will have to air their differences candidly and find a constructive way to move forward. That means there needs to be a summit which, to this point, has been strenuously opposed by the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

In any event, it’s extremely unlikely that Putin will agree to reduce oil production in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. That’s not what he wants at all. What Putin wants from Washington is far more comprehensive. He wants the US to rejoin the community of nations so they can deal collaboratively on critical issues like war, pandemic, nuclear proliferation and global security. He wants a reliable partner that will play by the rules, comply with international law, stop the bloody regime change wars, respect the sovereignty of other nations, and lend a hand with global crises.

That’s what he wants. He wants an ally that will respect the interests of others, cooperate on issues of mutual importance, and work to create a more equitable and prosperous global economy.

If Trump shows he is willing to change, then Putin will undoubtedly make every effort to help out. But if Trump continues with America’s go-it-alone approach, there’s not going to be a deal

 
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  1. Not only is Trump generally inept, he doesn’t have the brains to understand that has no leverage here at all.

    Good-bye American shale oil.

    • Agree: Twodees Partain
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Realist
    , @Realist
  2. Mr. Hack says:

    So why doesn’t Trump call Saudi King Salman first to get him on board to start the process of stabilizing oil prices at a higher price? If the Saudis were the first to start this price deescalation, and the last that I checked they were a US ally, this would make sense?

    Does Trump covet his own photo opp with Putin walking hand in hand down the proverbial rose garden?

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  3. Trump’s not really in charge of (((America’s foreign policy establishment))) anyway, so what’d be the point of cutting a deal with him?

    OT

    Twitter Inc. now feels free to censor the president of Brazil:

    https://www.rt.com/news/484441-bolsonaro-coronavirus-twitter-ban/

    Full disclosure: I’m no fan of Bolsonaro, although I happen to agree with him on this flu-hoax. But the main point is this: if Twitter can now censor foreign heads of state, how long will it be before they start censoring our own?

    Someday, Trump may have to start making his posts on VK!

  4. @Mr. Hack

    He’s got that weird picture of himself holding onto some glowing orb along with Gen. Sisi of Egypt and the King of SA:

  5. JL says:

    There’s no deal to be made with the Americans, they are not agreement capable, have nothing to offer, and their foreign policy has more heads than a hydra. They understand only force, so that is what is being used against them. As they did to Russia in 2014, so will be done to them: kick them while they are down and keep kicking them so they don’t get back up again.

  6. anon[491] • Disclaimer says:

    Naturally, Whitney misses everything.

    First, the US has claimed for decades that it can’t regulate US production, because of anti trust law, politics or whatever. Meanwhile 13 million bbls/day are crammed down OPEC+ Russia throat.

    Trump has finally got the memo that the US is the Worlds largest producer as well as the largest consumer and needs reasonably stable prices.

    The Texas Railroad Commission (which traditionally regulates Texas Oil and Gas) has openly met with OPEC, which would have gotten them thrown in jail (anti free market) a year ago. They can reduce Permian production.

    Putin needs Trump’s help with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi led price war is pain all around.

    The US oil industry wouldn’t mind seeing the weakest smaller producers wiped out.

    It’s not Putin/Russia vs Trump/US. It is the US (and ROW) vs Saudi Arabia. Needless to say, the US has levers wrt KSA, but needs Russia’s agreement.

    It’s all part of the routine producer cartel haggling. But for the first time, the US is being forced to either behave like a producing nation, or cease being one one.

    • Replies: @SteveK9
    , @RadicalCenter
    , @anon
  7. Tom Verso says:

    Over at Russian Insider (https://russia-insider.com/en ) 3/30/20 there is a very thought provoking recording from The Right Stuff network’s FTN program, about the profound Jewish dominance of American (Western) corporations. Specifically BlackRock!
    (“This Huge Jewish Finance Firm Just Took Over the US Treasury and Fed – Blackrock” https://russia-insider.com/en/huge-jewish-finance-firm-just-took-over-us-treasury-and-fed-blackrock-transcript-audio/ri28494).

    It is a truly profound ‘description’ of the amazing Jewish economic power in the US (but, by implication the whole of West. Civ. because their power takes the form of control of international corporations and American financial agencies Fed and Treaury.)

    That economic power translates into political (rather there is a recipical relation; political yields economic and economic yields political). It is safe to assume that American international relations are predominately determined by the Jewish Nation within Western Civilization.

    The Jewish Nation is the dominate nation in the West. Whereas England was dominate in 19th century; America in the 20th and now in the 21st the Jewish.

    Accordingly, when analyzing the causes of American and other Western policies (economic, military, international relation) one should ask oneself: How does the Jewish Nation benefit from the policy? For example, policies about Russian and China relations.

    When Trump called Putin (3/29/20), he was de facto articulating the tacit interest of the Jewish Nation. What he proposed to Putin is what the leaders of the Jewish Nation judge to be in the best interest of their Nation.

    What he talked about is largely secret. However, the two predominate world issues at the time are the Coronavirus and the crashing oil prices. It does not seem that there is much they can share about the virus that could not be handled at lower minister levels. But, the oil situation has profound economic implications that they both can have an affect on.

    Ergo, one can infer; what they talked about is what is in the best interest for the Jewish Nation regarding the oil market? For example, how is the present market conditions affecting the Jewish Nation’s primer corporation BlackRock? Pursuing this line of inquire, one can make logical probabilistic inferences about what offers and counter offers were made.

    For example, there is common speculation that Trump called Putin because the present oil market is having a profound negative affect on the US shale industry. That is a reasonable speculation. But, is the shale industry the most important economic issue for BlackRock and by extension the Jewish Nation. It may be that the political and economic conditions in Saudi Arabia and Armco are more important. This can be determine probabilistically by a careful analysis of financial press over the past year or so.

    Journalist posit today’s causality based on explicit yesterday’s news. Historians seek causality based on a much longer timeline and tacit implications.

    • Replies: @Miro23
    , @sarz
  8. ATBOTL says:

    In any event, it’s extremely unlikely that Putin will agree to reduce oil production in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

    He’d be a fool not to take such a deal. There is zero chance he will get any of that other stuff in his lifetime. This low oil price thing doesn’t hurt America that much, we have other industries, but Russia is teetering on the edge. Don’t believe the hype about Russia’s macroeconomic stability. That’s not the issue. The Russian people are tired of being the only white people expected to live like Africans to support a corrupt, decadent and gauche elite. Russia is going to unravel in the 2020’s without a change in leadership.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @neutral
    , @Half-Jap
  9. Unless Trump reins in his “advisors” he won’t be able to commit to any of the conclusions at the end of your article. They will sabotage anything like that that Trump may agree to.

    Trump is the opposite of inept. Get a clue.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  10. Beckow says:
    @John Chuckman

    All three sides have some leverage:

    – Trump can close off the US market to oil imports to give domestic oil a price floor.
    – Russia can force major financial pain to investors in the West and still survive ok.
    – Saudis can keep on pumping and partying. They are not a serious part of this.

    The real losers are the second-tier oil producers with no leverage. The higher cost producers like Mexico, Norway, Canada, etc… The elephants are fighting and the smaller animals get hurt.

    Trump did the only thing he could: he called Russia to offer a truce. I am sure he mentioned what will US do if Russia turns them down – a closed US energy market. It is up to Putin to escalate – he might, Russia wouldn’t be the main loser. Saudis are waiting to be told what to do, you don’t need them at the negotiation.

    US media is silent because this is too sensitive, they are always silent about the real stuff. This could be bumpy.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    , @sarz
  11. Realist says:
    @John Chuckman

    Putin should tell Trump to shit in his hat.

  12. Realist says:
    @ATBOTL

    You obviously know nothing about Russia…and believe everything our propaganda machine puts out.

  13. Realist says:
    @John Chuckman

    Not only is Trump generally inept, he doesn’t have the brains to understand that has no leverage here at all.

    Good-bye American shale oil.

    There will come a day, perhaps soon, when many of the countries the US has shit on…will seek revenge.

  14. Miro23 says:

    In any event, it’s extremely unlikely that Putin will agree to reduce oil production in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. That’s not what he wants at all. What Putin wants from Washington is far more comprehensive. He wants the US to rejoin the community of nations so they can deal collaboratively on critical issues like war, pandemic, nuclear proliferation and global security. He wants a reliable partner that will play by the rules, comply with international law, stop the bloody regime change wars, respect the sovereignty of other nations, and lend a hand with global crises.

    Trump’s 2016 electoral platform went some way towards this. It was enthusiastically welcomed by the US public – despite extreme MSM/Deep State opposition.

    At the time, Trump did propose constructive engagement with Russia.

    Putin knows this, and also that Jewish power has neutralized Trump. The MSM propaganda department is currently demonizing Russia – so no great expectations on Putin’s part to get anything from the US. Russia already has the US down as “non-agreement capable” and together with China they are building up their military as defense against this rogue state.

  15. Miro23 says:
    @Tom Verso

    For example, there is common speculation that Trump called Putin because the present oil market is having a profound negative effect on the US shale industry. That is a reasonable speculation. But, is the shale industry the most important economic issue for BlackRock and by extension the Jewish Nation. It may be that the political and economic conditions in Saudi Arabia and Armco are more important. This can be determine probabilistically by a careful analysis of financial press over the past year or so.

    This seems like a useful line of reasoning.

    The destabilization of Saudi Arabia is a greater concern for the NWO that the US shale oil industry.

  16. eah says:

    For the last month, Saudi Arabia has been flooding the market with crude oil to force Russia to agree to deep production cuts.

    Cutting the price of its owl and promising to ramp up production to meet the expected increase in demand was done unilaterally by the Saudis — did Trump call them?

  17. The oil price war is Saudi Arabia’s doing, not Putin’s.

    Putin disagreed with a Saudi offer that they both cut production to raise prices (before all of this).

    The Crown Prince then decided to flood the markets.

    Putin thought that was just fine, because he’d like to see Shale Oil driven out, but it wasn’t his doing, although a lot of inaccurate articles have claimed otherwise.

    So, he is in the honest position to tell Trump, you’ll have to talk to the Crown Prince, who is a very stubborn man.

  18. SteveK9 says:
    @anon

    The problem is that the ‘weakest’ producer in terms of production costs, … is the US.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  19. @SteveK9

    Yes, for sure.

    Shale oil is capital-intensive to produce.

    There is a possibility that Putin may offer some help in the form of asking the US to join a new OPEC+ and all work together on stabilizing markets.

    Trump is not exactly a cartel-oriented guy.

    But who knows. He could save some of the industry that way.

  20. It is vital to “respect the interests of others”. If the US and Russia cannot accommodate each other’s core interests there can be only outcome – war.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  21. Added thought I saw somewhere else.

    Trump doing a deal might well reopen Russia-gate, and with a new fury.

    • Replies: @SeekerofthePresence
    , @sarz
  22. jsinton says:

    It is Putin’s interest to see Trump win the 2020 election.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  23. @Digital Samizdat

    It’s how they get their instructions from Sauron.

    • LOL: Digital Samizdat
  24. @JL

    Please know that many Americans are agreement-worthy and genuinely desirous of peace with Russia. We are disgusted and frightened by the belligerence of our rulers. But we are obviously not in control of the US government, the federal reserve, the IMF, and the banks.

  25. @jsinton

    I have a personal sarcastic view of that.

    Trump is like having a deadly secret weapon going off in America.

    Putin must actually have a chuckle sometimes about what a mess Trump makes of everything he tries.

  26. @Miro23

    “Trump’s 2016 electoral platform went some way towards this. It was enthusiastically welcomed by the US public”

    How’s that?

    He only received 46.1% of votes.

  27. @anon

    Excellent points all, 491.

    I’d add that the oil and other God-given natural resources under our ground should be owned by all of us, not by these energy corporations or even the government. The proceeds from the sale of oil, natural gas, minerals, metals, and water extracted from our land should be paid equally to every U.S. Citizen as a universal basic income. Make it a constitutional amendment, much harder to repeal than a mere statute.

    Every U.S. citizen would have a stake in the vast profits generated by these industries. Regular people would find themselves caring very much about these negotiations over oil and gas output and prices, no longer just as consumers but as owners.

    When prices go down, Americans would benefit as consumers for our homes, vehicles, and businesses, as we do now. But when prices go up, we would benefit as owners, FOR A CHANGE.

    While we are at it, prohibit the export of water and water-containing beverages permanently. Anything that means life or death within three days must remain here for our people. Also prohibit the export of oil and natural gas until we have developed enough nuclear power capacity (or other non-fossil-fuel source) to reliably supply the whole country.

  28. Cyrano says:

    Wasn’t the flooding of the oil markets in the 1980’s by the ragheads – on instructions from US which actually caused the collapse of USSR economy and thus USSR itself? I think it’s time for Russia to return the favor and sink the oil prices to the 1980’s level – which was $10 a barrel. Russia can handle that, I am not sure about the ragheads, after all what’s their second biggest commodity export? Camels?

    • Replies: @animalogic
  29. Miro23 says:
    @John Chuckman

    “Trump’s 2016 electoral platform went some way towards this. It was enthusiastically welcomed by the US public”

    How’s that?

    He only received 46.1% of votes.

    He won the presidency despite intense media opposition. That needed some enthusiatic support – not the half empty rallies that Hillary got.

    Hillary should have won automatically with big money and MSM backing her . Even Trump’s own party tried to get rid of him.

  30. He wants an ally that will respect the interests of others, cooperate on issues of mutual importance, and work to create a more equitable and prosperous global economy.

    Putin may as well wish for a Skittle-shitting Unicorn.

  31. @Miro23

    He wants a reliable partner that will play by the rules, comply with international law, stop the bloody regime change wars, respect the sovereignty of other nations, and lend a hand with global crises.

    Not gonna happen. Lol.

    Recent Russian report says they have completed 80+% of their military modernization. Sarmat, Avangard, Kinzhal, Poseidon and other modern systems are moving from testing to serial production. Hopefully, the oil price drop will not cause too much delay. ‘Murkan war plans, like Western money, never sleep.

  32. @John Chuckman

    Agree. The new Russiagate would come on top of Coronagate, the latest investigation by that great defender of freedom, Adam Sniff.

    One wonders if the Orange Golem might try a more direct way of raising the price of oil—like starting a war with Iran. For once he would enjoy bipartisan support.

  33. @restless94110

    Appointing these snake-in-the-grass advisors was particularly inept, though, wasn’t it? I guess you mean that Trump isn’t inept, he just does inept things continually because…? 4D chess?

    • Replies: @restless94110
  34. @Beckow

    Reduced per bbl oil price is a gift to the world, not some sneak attack by Russia. The shale oil racket requires high oil prices just for the producers to keep treading water by losing their investors’ money slowly rather than quickly. Shale oil production is going to die soon if the price of crude doesn’t get back to $100 a barrel.

    Even if the price goes back up, shale oil is going to die off anyway because it’s an unprofitable game of finance rather than an actual oil production “miracle”.

  35. @John Chuckman

    Which is a higher percentage than slick Willie got back in 92. Go rest your neck paiza.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  36. @You dont say

    Silly. Why would I care about Clinton?.

    Both American parties are corrupt and serve little purpose good for people.

    It’s almost an artificial competition that allows many to think there is real choice, but there is not.

    Vote either party, and you get the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, empire, wars, and money-serving politics.

    The social issues differences almost don’t matter. There’s no money or much will to put them in place.

    It is a plutocracy tarted up to seem democratic.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  37. neutral says:
    @ATBOTL

    the only white people expected to live like Africans

    On the other hand you have white people expected to be replaced by Africans (very literally replaced), and this is called winning in your cuck world.

  38. Half-Jap says:
    @ATBOTL

    It’s not the shale industry itself that matters, but, as mentioned by Mike, its default will hit the banks hard. One can imagine what kind of people typically own banks.
    Sure, the US may be fine with low oil prices, but the bank owners certainly need the help to cut losses or buy time and sell those dressed up securities to some other fool when industry looks passably alright (which seems to be your gov and/or Fed).

  39. TimothyS says:

    Did anyone see Oliver Stone’s interviews with Vladimir Putin? They were a series of interviews which ran from about 2015-2017. Stone asked Putin whether he thought the dynamic between American and Russia would change under Trump. In his laconic way, Putin said that he expects little change in foreign policy. Most of the people in influence or making the decisions won’t change.

    • Agree: John Chuckman
  40. Franz says:

    The phone call has gotten almost no coverage in the American media, which is to be expected since there’s no way to spin an incident in which an American president is clearly pleading to “evil” Putin for a favor.

    You can bet there’s gonna be some mighty spin if anything backfires. They’ll say Trump was offering Putin the vice presidency.

    Still, we are at long last getting used to living in a Third World shithole with this sort of “press coverage.” From here on in we get all the news the Plutocrat Junta thinks we got coming. And not one jot more.

  41. sarz says:
    @Beckow

    All three sides have some leverage:

    – Trump can close off the US market to oil imports to give domestic oil a price floor.

    What would the resulting price of oil do to American industry?

  42. sarz says:
    @Tom Verso

    A solid point nicely put. The key features of Western history have been shaped by Judaia’s (the Jewish Nation’s) contest for supremacy since the time of Cromwell. The whole cycle of American history from the Boston Tea Party to the Coronavirus Pandemic yields its best sense when thought of In those terms. The failure of the American constitution is due in no small part to the inability to acknowledge or even imagine and therefore defend from multi-generational institutionalised satanic evil in the garb of religion or even ordinary ethnicity.

    Trump a crypto-Jew member of the Jewish establishment is best seen as the leader of the National Zionist faction (in Saker’s illuminating terminology) of Judaia against the dominant faction who love money more than Israel, the banksters, the Rothschilds and their associates. The factions were formerly united for 9/11 (of which Trump is an accessory after the fact) and they seem to be uniting again for their biggest caper, the great Coronavirus Pandemic. The Patriot Act of the previous Judaic adventure is more than matched by the Jewish takeover of the Treasury, its merger with the Jewish-owned Fed, and the trillions to be given away to choice Jews under the control of a Jewish corporation.

  43. sarz says:
    @John Chuckman

    Trump doing a deal might well reopen Russia-gate, and with a new fury.

    Russiagate was the banksters against National Zionist Trump (really, fake Nationalist but real Zionist). Their man Obama did the nuke accord with Iran, against the interests of Israel but in favour of the petro-dollar. Trump undid it. That’s why the banksters have been trying to bring him down from even before the beginning of his term. But now with the great Coronavirus Pandemic behind them, the factions of elders of Judaia are united again–just like the good old days of 9/11.

    Putin has set out to kill the petro-dollar, the goose that lays golden eggs for the biggest big Jews. Trump was trying his hand at the art of the deal. For the banksters. There’s not going to be any Russiagate over that.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  44. @Cyrano

    Export camels ? Nar — they cant manage that: they import them from Australia (or used to do so)

  45. @sarz

    Sorry, I don’t agree with that analysis.

    Banksters bring Trump down?

    He’s about to give away countless billions to them.

    And he has never been their enemy.

    The man IS establishment, through and through, just a crude and tasteless branch of it.

    • Agree: Daniel H
  46. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Digital Samizdat

    What is that glowing ball anyway? Does anyone know?

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
    , @acementhead
  47. Trump reports that Putin has agreed to cut production. Together with bin Salman they will cut 10 million bpd. Or 15 million. Details to be announced in the coming days.

    USOIL has rallied 20% on the news.

  48. nikto2000 says:

    So, after trying to destroy the Russian economy for 7 years with sanctions…the US is asking for help to “save” its economy. Wow. Chutzpah. If i was Putin I would say..no..all you Russian hating POS can sleep in the bed you made. Go pound sand. Enjoy

  49. Che Guava says:

    Putin’s plan is better than that of any Western nation-state. Still, to acknowledge this bullshit crisis as anything more than the total b.s.. that it is.

    I made a little speech in Japanere to two mini-supermaket employees, they loved it.

    Points were based on Italian stats. I also said that there were no deaths of children, and that they are in their twenties, have almost no risk.

    No infant or child deaths.

    Average (or median, I forget which) age of death, 79.5, average lifespan for Italians, 82.5.

    It is all a bad joke.

  50. Tired of winning yet…? Go figure…

  51. NPleeze says:

    He wants a reliable partner that will play by the rules, comply with international law, stop the bloody regime change wars, respect the sovereignty of other nations, and lend a hand with global crises.

    Exactly, and the Evil Empire will not do that until it is on its knees. It’s really just another attempt by the Evil Empire to weaken Russia. Russia will not get anything in return except the constant hate, baseless attacks, slander, malice, sabotage, obstruction, and envy (and if it could, war) that the Evil Empire dishes on everyone that is not its obedient vassal.

  52. anon[705] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    This thing started with a (busted) deal and ends with a deal. US shale gets spanked, and will cut production for a year. Its short duration will not be that painful for the KSA and Russia. Oil would have crashed anyway. As always, they can deliver pain on a dollar for dollar basis.

    FWIW, US shale has a marginal cost and an all in cost, like most commodities. The industry has been a bust as an investment on total cost, but the marginal cost is much lower. The heavy expenses are a sunk cost, and will be partially and slowly recovered. The marginal costs are low enough that they competitive with a lot of global higher cost production, so shale can’t be easily killed off.

    • Replies: @NPleeze
  53. NPleeze says:
    @anon

    There seems to be no agreement on what the marginal cost is – here’s a comparison of numerous views from 5 years ago: https://seekingalpha.com/article/3475906-oil-shale-production-breakeven-and-marginal-costs-moving-goalposts

    Marginal cost recovery does not help the banks, who need to have their debt serviced. End of the day everything in the US is about the financial system, and the oligarchs that control it (and thus must everything else).

  54. @The Scalpel

    I took it to represent an illuminated globe and that the stunt symbolised that they, together, were for the light of the world or world enlightenment. They overdid it imho as the globe looks much too much like a magical Harry Potter stage prop.

  55. @John Chuckman

    The founders obviously understood that sparsely populated areas would be thrown under the bus in a popular vote situation. Why would a President even bother campaigning in rural areas if the urban areas determine everything.
    Trump won the popular vote in 30 states. The difference of votes in California, with its incredibly strict voting rules, were the difference in the popular votes.

    • Replies: @John Chuckman
  56. @Curmudgeon

    The Electoral College was a manipulative and anti-democratic concept from the beginning.

    And it still is. It should have been dumped long ago.

    The Founders disliked democracy.

    Trump lost the popular vote – the only measure of democracy – by close to 3 million votes.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  57. Here in Florida we don’t produce any of our own oil. Not a drop. We like cheap gasoline to put in our trucks.

    Cheap oil is good for the whole world other than for the oil producers. When oil is expensive the producers hold the rest of the world to ransom. The oil that is not fracked now can be used by future generations.

    Matthew 25.1-13

    [MORE]

    1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

    2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

    3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,

    4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

    5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

    6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’

    7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.

    8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

    9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.

  58. @Jonathan Mason

    Too bad that burning that cheap gasoline spews poison into our air, water, and land. This is a stupid and obviously unhealthy, unsustainable system. Cheap oil induces people to spew more poison into our air and thus is NOT good for the people of the usa or the world in the long run (and with our burgeoning population, the not-so-long run).

    It is past time to gradually replace our burning of fossil fuels with nuclear power. We would need to minimize the shock to the people and communities of our country who are dependent on extracting, refining, transporting, and selling oil, natural gas, and coal. The nuclear capacity would increase each year, and the fossil fuel extraction and burning (and pollution) decrease only gradually each year accordingly.

    Having said that, the excellent advice in the bible quotation applies to all our precious and limited natural resources. First and foremost, WATER, without which we die en masse within days. There should a prohibition on sending our water out of the country, period.

    As for oil, natural gas, metals, and minerals, there should be a slowly declining cap on the amount that can be exported. “Slowly declining”, again, to lessen the impact on the people and towns who depend on exporting those resources, and on our trading partners.

    Cheap gas and cheap oil aren’t so cheap.

    • Replies: @acementhead
  59. As I understand it, the 1-2 punch that brought the USSR to an end thirty years ago was the quagmire of the Afghan war and a US-Saudi decision to radically lower oil prices, depriving Russia of one of its main sources of revenue. Now it looks like the shoe is on the other foot, if you don’t mind me mixing metaphors, and it’s going to pinch just as much.

  60. @The Scalpel

    What is that glowing ball anyway? Does anyone know?

    “They’ve got the whole world in their hands…”

    Australia and NW NA clearly visible. A rare moment of honesty.

  61. @Jonathan Mason

    Cheap oil is good for the whole world other than for the oil producers. When oil is expensive the producers hold the rest of the world to ransom. The oil that is not fracked now can be used by future generations.

    Yes self evidently obvious.

    Pity you spoiled it with the religious rubbish. You could have re-written the religious rubbish in standard natural economic terms and the whole would have been much better.

  62. @John Chuckman

    Trump lost the popular vote – the only measure of democracy

    Ah democracy, love that tyranny of the majority. Except in New Zealand we don’t even have a tyranny of the majority, we have a tyranny of the minority thanks to our mad MMP system.

    Here we have a lunatic left-wing minority government led by an idiot female who has never had a real job(working part time in a fish and chip shop while still at school is not a real job). Ardern, the aforesaid idiot went straight from university(where she didn’t even achieve a BA, but a “degree” in lying, a Bachelor of communication studies) to “working” in politics(for Tony Bliar) from whence she entered the New Zealand parliament without being elected. That was possible because “democracy’, the crazy Party List back door to MP-hood.

    The idiot, who is concerned about children living in poverty in New Zealand, is now ensuring that tens of thousands more will be joining those already there by utterly destroying the New Zealand economy.

  63. @RadicalCenter

    Too bad that burning that cheap gasoline spews poison into our air, water, and land.

    Burning hydrocarbons creates nothing but water and carbon dioxide, an essential nutrient for plants. The world is measurably greening now due to the wonderful benefits of the beneficial carbon dioxide released by burning hydrocarbons. Nothing is poisoned by hydrocarbon combustion.

    But we can be sure that some children in Australia have died because of the dullard Tim Flannery causing ten billion AUD to be wasted on the construction of three unnecessary desalination plants.

  64. @Twodees Partain

    Appointing these snake-in-the-grass advisors was particularly inept, though, wasn’t it? I guess you mean that Trump isn’t inept, he just does inept things continually because…? 4D chess?

    It is not inept to appoint an adviser who has respect and credentials. Trump is not a gypsy fortune teller. You seem to think that if he is not, that means he is inept.

    He’s not “doing inept things.” He is doing things. Some work out, some don’t work out.

    You also misunderstand the nature of American government (and hiring in companies in general). You believe that Trump is “inept” unless he is all-knowing, all-foreseeing of all human behavior of everyone around him.

    Trump is not. He’s a simple man. Your comments and the comments of others in this vein are all kibitzing from the peanut gallery. Any difficulty Trump is experiencing from “snake-in-the-grass” hires says more about the nature of those in the upper layers of American society than it does about Trump,.

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