Laugh along with business mythology
- The sure signs of rising oil prices are almost anyplace - from those TV
specials in European countries showing shiny windmills and trusty nuclear
power plants, to practical demonstrations of how much this Sunset
Commodity, at an inflation adjusted price of about one-third its 1983
price, is really worth - around 70 000 tons or 450 000 barrels chucked in
the sea off Spain, from a 25-year-old rusting tub, good enough to transport
near valueless cargoes
The 'Times' London UK, is strong on pro-war anti-Iraq rhetoric, and carries
regular pro-war articles by a creaky fascist called W Rees-Mogg (ex Editor
of the rag) who never, ever mentions the oil word, that would be so
In the Times Business Section other - maybe more subtle? - propaganda is
pumped out. Here is one called
Bank of England/Times Target 2 Point 5 Interest Rate Challenge (the
gobblegook title is not explained - something about interest rate setting
and similar blah)
A key contributor to this series is Gary Duncan who gives Economic
Briefings, just after a nice photo of our hero looking stern and v
This best/most flagrant lie is from what he had to say on oil prices,
under the title "Oil price falls are usually reflected in lower rates"
'How has the impact of oil prices on inflation changed?'
Answer from Gary/ "It has become less important in the past 2 decades. The
oil shocks of 1973 and 1979-80 sent inflation soaring but a surge in oil
prices from just $10 a barel in 1999 to about $35 a barrel last year had a
relatively muted impact"
AND HERE IS THE PORK PIE
"One reason was that developed economies now rely less on oil."
Turning to the International Energy Agency web site and downloading its
1973-2000 world energy comparisons we find that OECD countries in 1973
burnt 1994.9 Million tons of oil, and they burnt 2169.3 Million tons in
Very obviously they "rely less on oil".
Sure, Gary was speaking relatively or figuratively, or maybe trying to
explain to himself why his trading buddies on the stock exchange didnt go
apeshit with excitation and "fear" when oil prices increased from about
$4.50 in 1983 dollars, to about $ 14 a barrel in 1983 dollars, for a short
while, in the year 1999-2000. In fact, those buddies of his had other fish
to fry, other targets for their angst (such as Enron and Global Crossing)
and other things to get scared about, like losing their job from financial
services downsizing and having to give up the Maserati, now 'fuel
efficient' at around 25 Liters/100 kms in town
Gary went on to add/ "...forecasters believe oil prices are set to fall in
2003 to an average of $21.75 a barrel. They say subdued demand due to the
weakness of the global economy will outweigh any impact from conflict"
(Gary also told us that many fine analysts expect US intervention in Iraq
within 6 months)
With that under the belt or stuffed between their cellphones, traders can
go forward in confidence and, anyway, we "dont need oil anymore", as is
proven by the facts (just a couple hundred million tons a year more than in