Friday, June 13, 2014

Watch Out, Surging Oil Prices will COMPOUND on Inflation Risks!

Low-flation eh?

From Reuters:
Oil prices jumped to nine-month highs on Thursday, as concerns mounted that escalating violence in Iraq could disrupt oil supplies from the second-largest OPEC producer.

Sunni Islamist militants, who took over Iraq's second-biggest city Mosul earlier this week, extended their advance south toward Baghdad and surrounded the country's largest refinery in the northern town of Baiji on Thursday.
Let us see these via charts.


The US crude benchmark the WTIC just had a breakout!


US gasoline likewise posted a seeming breakout, which will likely be confirmed or falsified during the coming sessions.

This will ADD to the growing inflation pressures in the US which will jeopardize the stock market bubble.


Even Europe's Brent Crude seems as testing a critical resistance level.

The question is will troubles in Iraq signify a temporary event or will these escalate?

The recent twist of events reveals how the US Bush-Obama war on Iraq has not only been a dramatic failure of US interventionist policies, but a blowback, as the so-called terrorists seemingly beating back the Americans at their own game.  Talk about Karma.

These also seem as the unintended consequence of the confused and self contradictory imperial policies by the US government in the region.

Paradoxically, the client state or the US sponsored Iraq government has been fighting off insurgents whom has relations with US backed rebels in Syria!

From the PBS Frontline (May 2014): The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels. In recent months, at least five rebel units have posted videos showing their members firing U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles at Syrian positions…many both inside and out of government fear U.S.-provided weapons could make their way into extremist hands, particularly in a place like Syria, where alliances and foes change with breakneck fluidity. Moderate rebel groups have worked closely with the al Qaida-aligned Nusra Front and the Islamic Front, one of whose factions, Ahrar al Sham, includes al Qaida members among its founders."

Now Iraq’s rebels could be using some of the US provided weapons in their war to take control of Iraq via Baghdad. 

Al Qaida-inspired militants from ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, have reportedly seized US Black Hawk helicopters, looted 500 billion Iraqi dinars - the equivalent of $429m (£256m) - from Mosul's central bank, has now laid siege or surrounded Iraq's largest refinery in Baiji, and may have unleashed a sectarian war.

Reports the Zero Hedge: As the WSJ reports, after hard core Al Qaeda spin off ISIS (no relation to Sterling Archer) took over Saddam's home town of Tikrit yesterday, Iraq edged closer to all-out sectarian conflict on Thursday as Kurdish forces took control of a provincial capital in the oil-rich north and Sunni militants vowed to march on two cities revered by Shiite Muslims.  Kurdish militia known as peshmerga said they had taken up positions in key government installations in Kirkuk, as forces of the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki abandoned their posts and fled in fear of advancing Sunni militants, an official in the office of the provincial governor said.

Cumulative years of US interventions seem to have triggered a regional conflagration.

Yet the US government will continue to intervene as wars signifies as good business for the politically influential military industrial complex. President Obama has pledged to support the incumbent Iraq government, but did not offer ground troops.

Aside from the renewed outbreak violence in Iraq, one ramification of the US –Russia proxy civil war in Ukraine has been a test of mettle between two major military powers: The US government acknowledged that they have scrambled jet fighters to intercept 4 Russian bombers who flew nearly 50 miles off the California Coast. Wow! Russians frontally testing the US.

As geopolitical risks have been simmering, the effects of which has been to disrupt supply chains (as oil), thereby compounding on pressures to global consumer price inflation.

But for the don’t worry be happy crowd, whether in the Philippines or the US or elsewhere, various additional risks aside from inflation, such as protectionism or war should be dismissed because stocks are bound to rise forever, based on the kooky idea of "don't fight the FED" or central banks! Maybe they think that central banks can print oil too.

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