Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Bling

Chapter1. The Gold
On April 5, 1933... Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed executive order number 6102.  This unconstitutional order required all citizens to hand over any and all gold they were holding (With a few exceptions).  It made it illegal to posses or trade in gold, with a $10,000 fine, or up to 10 years in prison as a penalty.  People were paid $20.67 per ounce by the Government, for all the gold that they had handed in.  Some folks estimate that as much as 500 tons was confiscated by the government  (Fourteen million, five hundred and eighty thousand troy ounces), but nobody knows for sure.  Roosevelt raised the price per ounce shortly afterwards to $35 an ounce.  He who has all the gold, makes all the rules!  If there was 500 tons... The profit for the Government was around 209 billion Dollars (A little over $3.7 Trillion, adjusted for inflation).  This may have been the biggest rip-off in history.  He left the Dollar pegged at that $35 an ounce price, and allowed foreign governments to still trade in Dollars for Gold at this price (Which kept the value of the Dollar up on the world markets).

Fast forward to 1971.  Overspending on the Viet Nam war, was at the root of rampant inflation.  French President Charles De Gaulle, fearing that his Dollar holdings would lose all their value, began demanding gold from the U.S. in exchange for those Dollars.  Richard Nixon became concerned that Ft. Knox might be cleaned out, if other countries followed suit.  So he changed the rules!  He simply declared that Dollars would no longer be tied to gold, and that they could not be exchanged.  The U.S. was no longer on the gold standard at all.

The U.S. Dollar had become entirely a "Fiat" currency.  It's value is now, only supported by the ability (Or perceived ability), of the U.S. Government to make good on it's promises.

Chapter 2.  Petro Dollars
In the early 1970's, the political tensions over the Yom Kippur war, between Israel, Syria, and Egypt, caused the Arab Oil Embargo.  There were shortages, and the price shot up from $3 a barrel for oil, to the unheard of price of $11.   During this time something interesting happened though.  Henry Kissinger, on behalf of Nixon, made a secret agreement with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia.  This "Treaty" insured that the Saudi's would sell all of their oil to the U.S. in exchange for our military protecting their borders.  What's important here though, is that they would sell that oil... denominated in Dollars.  As soon as this agreement was made public, almost all other oil producing nations followed suit, and oil has been exclusively traded in Dollars since then.  Most other commodities, also began being traded in Dollars.  When the embargo ended in '74, the price of oil remained at that $11 level, and has climbed to the over $100 a barrel price we see today.  The Saudi royal family got insanely rich, and "Reinvested" billions, and billions into U.S. Treasury bills.

What's important to understand, here is that if anyone in the world, needed oil, or even most other raw materials, they have to have Dollars to make that purchase!  The Dollar had become truly the reserve currency of the world!  This is what allows the U.S. to simply print up trillions, without inflation becoming obscene.  Everybody needs Dollars.  Obama & Bernanke have  pushed this envelope to it's extreme, maybe even to the breaking point.

Chapter 3. The Bling. 
When the Occupy wall Street folks hold up signs talking about how "We are the 99%", I always shake my head.  You see it should actually be the 95%.  The truth is, just 5% of the U.S. population controls well over 72% of the nations wealth. (That means that the other 95% of us get to divvy up just 28% of what's left).

These (5%) people at the top of the financial ladder, control the largest corporations in the world.  They have Washington D.C. in their pockets.  They are not concerned with things that can effect the other 95% of us. Things such as the recent increases in the price of groceries, unemployment, or sticker price at the pump (To a degree) mean nothing to them.  It's as if they have horse blinders on their heads.  They see nothing but the bling.  A new yacht, house in the Hamptons, Mercedes Benze, power, a chocolate on their pillow at night, quarterly stock reports, and all that cash they are sitting on is all that matters.  That cash is denominated in Dollars!!!

There is one thing that is at the top of their list.  Everything else is insignificant in comparison.
The value of all those Dollars they have hoarded, must be protected at any cost!!!

Chapter 4.  Whorled Peas
The real reason for the first Gulf War, wasn't about Iraq invading Kuwait, as much as the fact that Saddam had amassed a huge military force at the door of Saudi Arabia.  (Remember that agreement with Nixon).
We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction.  We were lied to.  So why did George Bush have such a "Hard on" for Saddam?  Why did we invade?  After the first Gulf War, sanctions were put on trade, with Iraq, but Saddam's oil was needed, some in the U.N. didn't want to hurt the common people in Iraq.  So a program called "Oil for food" was put in place.  Saddam could trade X Dollars worth of oil, for X dollars worth of food, (Which he probably made his subjects pay for anyway.  Nobody says he wasn't a loser.).  His big mistake was on Nov 13, 2000.  He announced that he would only trading his oil for food... Denominated in Euro's.  What if other oil producing countries followed his lead?  What if they started selling oil in other currencies?  The 5% couldn't have this!!!  If oil was traded in other currencies, the value of the Dollar would plummet!  Washington could no longer "Borrow" at will. The 5% would lose their nest egg!
Invading Afghanistan is another story, but it has to do with a company named Unical oil, now owned by Chevron, a CIA informant named Hamid Karzi (Now president of Afghanistan), and an ill conceived idea to build an oil pipe line across the country.
Libya and Syria,
The United States initiated military action against Libya and Moammar Gadhafi.  President Obama, in a speech to the American People said quote "We cannot stand idly by while a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy".  The government of Syria, has been committing atrocities against it's people for months now.  Public pressure may yet cause some kind of action in Syria, but why were we so quick to act in Libya but, not in Syria?  Why is our conscience not as outraged, as it was over Libya?  Gadhafi was pushing for a new currency, for Africa, and Muslim countries... Called the Gold Dinar.  His idea was beginning to gain traction among other oil producing countries.
Is the U.S. really concerned about Iran getting a nuclear bomb?  Will we soon invade over this?  A massive flotilla of U.S. navy ships, aircraft carriers and a marine amphibious landing ship is building up in the gulf region.  Will Israel bomb the nuclear sites?  We we be embroiled in yet another war?  Iran just signed an agreement with India to sell massive quantities of oil to them.  Denominated in "Rupees", and gold.  You tell me if war is coming.

Chapter 5.  Doing the math
So, am I right?  Is so much of America's foreign policy dictated, by the need to protect the concept of the Petro-Dollar?  If so, then oil must remain king.  It must remain traded in the Dollar.  It would explain why over all these years, and after so much speechifying about becoming energy independent, alternative energy is providing just a drop in the bucket.  Wind, solar, and bio fuels are too decentralized.  They are too uncontrollable.  If oil is diminished by an increased use of these technologies, the Dollar becomes marginalized.  The 5% lose the value of their wealth.  Does this explain why oil companies (While making bundles of cash), still get huge federal subsidies, and things like solar power get almost none?  Are those "Horse blinders" that the American Elite wear on their heads, the real reason, why there is no real effort to change America's energy habits?  You tell me.  We'll get through this!