Friday, May 19, 2006

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just announced that starting this July, Iran will stop trading oil for dollars. Instead, anyone who wants to buy oil from Iran will have to pay for it in euros. Coming on the heels of the Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB), an energy exchange Iran just registered on the Island of Kish on May 5, this looks like a calculated effort to undermine the US dollar."

"In related news, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a similar plan: he is calling for Russia to establish an oil exchange denominated in rubles. Depending on how Russia is prepared to go in its requirements for selling oil, this could prove far more damaging to the global market for petrodollars."

"The best outcome for all would be a smooth, managed transition from a pre-eminent petrodollar system to a basket of oil trading currencies, including the dollar, euro, ruble, renminbi, and others. However, the Bush administration has made it very clear that it is not prepared to share power.

"It remains to be seen just how far the United States will go diplomatically and militarily to preserve its hegemony, and how far Iran, Russia, and other potential rivals waiting in the wings will go to break that hegemony up.

"Analysts from all over the political spectrum are speculating that this round of increasingly aggressive posturing could escalate into a major conflict, even another world war. The potential for global devastation is so appalling that whatever its likelihood, the parties involved should be doing everything they can to let careful diplomacy map a way out."

The dollar's falling, gold soaring, markets falling, war plans forming - there's almost an air of inevitability about the coming catastrophe.

No comments: