Iraq

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Making The World A More Dangerous Place

US foreign policy at work
Friday, November 6, 2015, 9:06 PM

Without any doubt, the Middle East has been a very long-simmering region of violent religious and tribal enmity.

In that regard, perhaps today is no different than 1,000 years ago. But given the importance of the remaining oil in the Middle East to the next 20 years of global economic health, the violence and chaos seen there recently is hugely important to the entire world. » Read more

Insider

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Meanwhile In Iraq, The Situation Grows More Dangerous

World oil prices & regional stability at high risk now
Monday, August 4, 2014, 7:29 PM

As if there wasn't enough to concentrate on given all that's happening in Ukraine between Russia and the West, and in Gaza between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the situation in Iraq has been taking some decidedly worrisome turns of late.

As ever, we keep our eye on this hot spot because of its special importance to the world supply of oil, any loss of which will rapidly lead to much higher prices. » Read more

Podcast

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Michael Klare: Finite Resources And The Geography of Conflict

In the end, all wars are resource wars
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 12:49 PM

Ukraine. Iraq. Nigeria. Libya. Tunisia. Syria. All are hotspots of conflict in different regions of the world, yet the same underlying cause behind each can clearly be seen when looking through the lens of finite resources.

In this week's podcast, Chris talks with Hampshire college professor Michael Klare, author of The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for World's Last Resources and Resource Wars. » Read more

Insider

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Off the Cuff: Do Geopolitics Matter Anymore?

Because the markets sure don't seem to care
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 4:37 PM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:

  • Do Geopolitics Matter Anymore?
    • No conflict is seemingly too great for the markets to ignore
  • The Marginal Value of A Barrel of Oil
    • Even the loss of a few % of total supply could vastly impact the US
  • Zombie Markets
    • No weapon seems to be able to stop this bull market
  • Bass-Ackward Foreign Policy
    • The West is pursuing a strategy that makes no sense
Insider

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Picking Up Speed

Important updates on GDP, Iraq, Ukraine & Oil
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 4:55 PM

There's been so much happening across the world lately that it's time for a global update on a variety of subjects.

Yet, these developments stand in stark contrast to the US equity markets, where there's virtually nothing worthwhile to report on.  Our "markets" no longer resemble anything that might provide useful, actionable information. » Read more

Insider

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And...It's Gone

(The refinery that is)
Thursday, June 19, 2014, 11:26 AM

Just a few hours ago, amid the reports of fighting in and around the Baiji refinery in northern Iraq, there were plenty of assurances that the main Iraqi forces were in complete control. » Read more

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danielo

Iraq Breaks Down, Oil Surges

The context underlying the growing crisis
Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:58 PM

The situation in Iraq is serious, and is probably going to get worse before it gets better. The potential for this recent action to morph into a regional conflict is very high. That that means that oil could go a lot higher, and if it does, we can expect the odds of a global economic recession and an attendant financial crisis to go up considerably from here. » Read more

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Oil at Risk

Get ready for $150 per barrel oil?
Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:57 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why this Iraq crisis comes at a very vulnerable time for world oil markets
  • The three mostly likely outcomes to the current crisis, and the resulting oil price of each
    1. ISIS remains contained from here
    2. ISIS takes Bagdad and points south
    3. A more widespread Middle East conflict erupts
  • The growing risk to the global economy & financial markets
  • What concerned individuals should do now

If you have not yet read Iraq Breaks Down, Oil Surges, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The biggest risk to the world economy from the developing Iraq situation is that the price of oil could spike higher, killing the sputtering economic 'recovery' and triggering both a new global Recession and financial crisis.

Now, here's the truly interesting part of where we are in this story.

The IEA (International Energy Agency) has recently called for OPEC to deliver more oil by year end, which I wrote about here, and especially called upon Saudi Arabia to do so because world oil supplies are incredibly tight right now.  OPEC is the only entity in the world with any identifiable 'swing production', as all of the non-OPEC nations are alrady producing at maximum capacity. At least, the hope is that OPEC has additional production capacity.

In the prior piece mentioned, I wrote that of the 12 OPEC members, 8 are in a sustained decline trend for a variety of geological or political reasons. Only 4 are not. Only 1 actually has shown a significant increase in oil production over the past few years -- and that was Iraqwhich had added 1.5 mbd recently:

Here's what's at risk if the ISIS rebels push further south:

(Source)

The IEA is already calling on OPEC to deliver 1.2 mbd more by year end 2014. If Iraq's production is lost, then we can just add that amount to the 'needed total' that the IEA has requested be brought on line by Saudi Arabia, an amount that I already sincerely doubt they can meet. If even a portion of Iraq's production is lost, then we can just kiss $110 barrel good-bye and say hello to $150 per barrel oil. War is messy and it's never easy to predict what might happen, but we'd be foolish to not consider what might happen here.

The true game-changer for the world will come when... » Read more

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Off the Cuff: Slippage

Centralized control is losing its grasp
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 11:26 AM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:

  • Voter Revolt
    • Eric Cantor's loss suggests populace is getting fed up 
  • Iraq Gets Worse
    • Now a failed operation of two Presidencies
  • Manic Markets
    • Priced for 0% risk
  • Hazardous Housing Market
    • Already nosing over?