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Off the Cuff: Bankers On Edge

An insane high wire act nears the end
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 7:22 PM
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In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:

  • Gold is being driven by speculators in lock-step with the yen
  • So is the S&P 500
  • Why labor pricing power is broken and will stay that way
  • The shale oil Ponzi scheme breaks...and defaults are sure to follow
  • China's economic miracle is about to become a mirage

Charles: And it certainly seems that oil is being used as a weapon. But you know, let's also I would like your view on the idea that the world economy is going into recession. It seems sort of obvious to me. Europe is already either in recession or so stagnant that it is the same as recession. The US is stumbling along with fake growth in terms of households. And then China is rolling over. Japan is going down the sinkhole.

So what will that do to oil if demand really craters like we get another 2008 situation where the financing dries up and people stop borrowing because they are afraid and they stop spending and the whole thing that causes recession. I think that is going to have a potentially huge impact on oil and it would hurt everybody that is producing oil the Saudis included. They may be talking bravely, but I believe that their production costs have risen considerably because they have had to run hundreds of miles of pipe and they are injecting carbon dioxide and sea water and stuff into their wells to keep their production up.

Chris Martenson: The old days of Saudi Arabia sticking a straw in the ground and pulling oil out at a dollar or two a barrel those are long gone because if you have ever seen they have a rack of four pipes that stretch, I forget, 100 miles or something going from the ocean to one of their fields. And each one of those pipes is about the diameter of a large room. They are like 14 feet in diameter they are extraordinarily huge. There is four of them and they are just pumping seawater and they are injecting that down into the field at a variety of points. So yea, that's expensive. And worse the rate of inflation in the mining business has been roughly around 10% for the last 10 years. That means that your costs are going to completely double every seven years when you've got 10% inflation. So that is what the mining industry and particularly the petroleum has been putting up with.

 

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