Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mainstream Conspiraloons: #136 George Soros, #137 Germany

Typical commodity trader in action - less of an amoral financial psychopath, more of a latter day Messiah figure sent to save us from the evils of 'cheap' food and oil which are Proven to be very bad for both us and our planet


Peak Oil…


Hmmm

One of those subjects which has the potential to divide Conspiraloons straight down the middle

There are many loons out there who believe that much of the apparently fascistic, aggressive behaviour of Western governments, especially the US and the UK, is driven by the impending shortfall in global energy supply and the need to find excuses to occupy other countries and to make preparation to clamp down on dissent at home when the lights start going out

I’m not one of them

I’m one of those loons who believes that, yes, finite energy resources are an issue but, no, that's not the reason why the price of oil, and food, have been going through the roof recently

I once worked for a company which traded, amongst other things, cocoa. The firm was a real cocoa trader; buying cocoa from real suppliers, transporting it in real ships and selling it on to real customers. And every now and again, I and half a dozen other people who made a living counting stuff would fly around the globe to take stock of our company’s prodigious physical holdings of the yummy brown stuff. Our firm held onto a ridiculous amount of cocoa – much more than it needed to meet its immediate or even medium term requirements. Some of the stocks were literally years old.


The reason why the firm held onto so much was because, thanks to the involvement of hedge funds and other speculators, the cocoa futures market had become an absolute fucking joke. It was simply cheaper and less risky to sit on tens of thousands of tons of physical stock rather than expose the company to a market being mugged by characters who were using the futures exchanges as a (rigged) casino


The futures pricing of cocoa had become, just like the price of oil or wheat today, no more a product of genuine supply/ demand issues than the price of Dutch tulips 400 years ago or Florida real estate every thirty years or so

The role played by speculators spending money they've borrowed cheaply to buy and drive up the price of stuff they don't personally need is key and always played down by the owned press - as is the role played by the people who make that money available in the first place

and it comes as no surprise that very few people given a mainstream voice are connecting the very close timing of the collapse in property speculation, central banks printing shed loads of lovely inflationary money and the sharp rise in commodities prices


It shouldn’t be rocket science but the obvious conclusions seem to be beyond the grasp of people who make a living pretending to tell the rest of us what’s going on


(courtesy of The Daily Mash)


Honourable exceptions include…

"What is particularly worrying about this speculative boom is that a number of the big Wall Street banks are up to their oxters in it. Goldman Sachs, for example, which recently forecast that oil would reach $200 a barrel, is heavily involved in the oil futures market. It stands to make a lot of money if its forecast comes true. So do other investment banks. These institutions control billions of dollars of oil contracts, and it takes only a few of the big banks to move in a given direction for the entire market to shift. The extraordinary financial power of the banks is one disturbing aspect of globalisation"


Madder than a sack of ferrets

A veritable hornets' nest of mainstream conspiralunacy


And whilst I do understand why some fellow loons are concerned about future shortages of oil and food I do suggest that they keep their minds open to the possibility that real structural issues are being manipulated and used as Trojan horses to facilitate some serious financial rape and pillage


A couple of other recent examples come to mind…

  • The kinds of companies and technologies which produce the unnatural abomination of deliberately infertile seeds being promoted as a solution to impending global famine (with little or no coverage being given to the role of predatory commodity speculation in advancing that impending famine)
.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I once worked for a company which traded, amongst other things, cocoa."

Pal of mine works in OTC Pharma. Similar story. In her previous job the team had to watch the market like a hawk; estimate current inventories of the customers (ie high street pharmacies); on the basis of this research they could predict production runs to satisfy the market. They are quite good at this. Except every now and then they get it wrong. They get it wrong 'cos the customers hoard the product; subsequently, stuff that sells for pennies (per tablet) sells for pounds (per tablet). Orson Welles would've been proud.

Pathetic isn't it? Greedy grubby sh*tes.

Tony said...

President Horst Köhler said modern capitalism had turned into a “monster”.

Says the man formerly with the IMF...

Repeat after me:
"There are no American tanks in Baghdad!"

"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"

"Capitalism is a Monster!"

Stef said...

lol

and I wonder why George Soros says some of the things he does

'People like me, friends of mine even, are fucking you all over - and you're going to do nothing about it'

interesting psychology

jon doy said...

spot on, sir

what i love is how stupendously enormous all these coincidences are nowadays, so enormous we do not even see them

...unless you look for them using conspiravision™ that is

Anonymous said...

Cheers for sharing your knowledge Stef.

F. William Engdahl has written some similarly interesting stuff about oil economics, like in his latest article above:

"As detailed in an earlier article, a conservative calculation is that at least 60% of today’s $128 per barrel price of crude oil comes from unregulated futures speculation by hedge funds, banks and financial groups using the London ICE Futures and New York NYMEX futures exchanges and uncontrolled inter-bank or Over-The-Counter trading to avoid scrutiny. US margin rules of the government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission allow speculators to buy a crude oil futures contract on the Nymex, by having to pay only 6% of the value of the contract. At today's price of $128 per barrel, that means a futures trader only has to put up about $8 for every barrel. He borrows the other $120. This extreme “leverage” of 16 to 1 helps drive prices to wildly unrealistic levels and offset bank losses in sub-prime and other disasters at the expense of the overall population."

Also some of Dave McGowan's responses to Mike ('rolling blackouts by 2007') Ruppert are classic.

Though of course sustainability of energy is a serious issue also.

Stef said...

@anon

cheers

and thx for the interesting linkage

'we can't be the only people who can see'

Anonymous said...

The big question ... is Henry Hazlitt a conspiraloon?????

Economics in One Lesson

Nominations only accepted upon pain of reading from start to finish.

Other potential nominations - Bastiat, Ricardo, Dickinson White, etc in future polls.

Stef said...

The big question ... is Henry Hazlitt a conspiraloon?????

nah

He's one of those semi-loons who only has half the story. He understands the mechanisms but then completely misidentifies the motives behind money supply shenanigans and the real beneficiaries of those shenanigans

e.g., taken from the epilogue at the end of the above link...

"One of the worst results of the retention of the Keynesian myths is that it not only promotes greater and greater inflation, but that it systematically diverts attention from the real causes of our unemployment, such as excessive union wage-rates, minimum wage laws, excessive and prolonged unemployment insurance, and overgenerous relief payments."

and

"More and more people are becoming aware that government has nothing to give them without first taking it away from somebody else—or from themselves. Increased handouts to selected groups mean merely increased taxes, or increased deficits and increased inflation. And inflation, in the end, misdirects and disorganizes production. Even a few politicians are beginning to recognize this, and some of them even to state it clearly."

Amongst many other things, the fact that modern industrialized society acquired enough productive capacity to keep everyone housed, fed and clothed long ago and has been twisted to keep most of us tied-down in the production of useless and meaningless shit seems to have eluded matey