Energy

Saudis Screw OPEC…

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Reader robc writes in with an SF Chronicle story about the Saudis telling other OPEC nations to take a hike:

Hours after suffering a rare setback in a negotiating session at OPEC's headquarters, Saudi Arabian officials assured world markets on Wednesday that they would ignore the wishes of other cartel members and continue to pump plenty of oil.

The late-night bargaining session ended early Wednesday morning with a surprise declaration that OPEC would cut production to shore up sagging prices. Saudi negotiators publicly endorsed that position, but then spent much of Wednesday privately spreading the word that they did not feel bound by it.

The back-and-forth illustrated new pressures and power politics at play in the group that controls 40 percent of the world's oil production. The meeting could be a harbinger for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as the cartel faces its most difficult challenge in years: how to respond to falling oil prices in a weakening global economic climate.

More here.

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  1. Greed eventually undermines every criminal enterprise.

  2. What would Mohammed do?

  3. The Saudis are just thinking long term. I’d bet a lot of oil experts are looking at how much people reduced their demand for gas mostly through behavioral modifications, and are worried that if they artificially restrict supply they’re going to permanently damage future demand by giving long term encouragement to small cars/hybrids/alt fuel.

    The other OPEC guys just want the short term score.

  4. Woo Hoo! First time one of my tips has led to a story.

    Question of the day – how far does Saudi want to drive the price down. Ive seen $80, but I think $60. It seems $60+ is where a lot of the alternative technologies become profitable.

  5. whatever happend to OPEC in Texas…you know the history of the Texas Railrod Commission and the efforts of the rockefllers to conrol oil output in the same fashion as OPEC supposedly does today?….I guess all those guys in cahrge of world oil production in the 40’s and 50’s probably never made any money and they jsut disappeared…or did they decide to build relationships with the newfound oil giants in the mideast? I guess that is just silly. Nope OPEC is run by foreign devils with no connection to the US.

  6. Chavez was pushing the hard line. Im guessing he needs the money.

  7. I think toxic has it exactly right. The Saudis may be religious fanatics, but they are a whole brighter than the rest of OPEC. If you charge too much for your product, people learn to live with less of it or without it all together.

  8. One other thing to think about. The Saudi’s biggest enemy in the region is in Iran. Given that fact and Chavez’s sucking up to the Iranians and Hezbollah, I doubt the Saudis were in much of a mood to give a shit about the Generalisimo’s problems.

  9. The Saudis may be religious fanatics

    The guys in charge are not religious fanatics, they are billionaires and want to stay that way.

  10. Or it is a short-term position to influence the internal affairs of another nation?

    Nahhhh!!!!

  11. Saudis screw OPEC…OPEC screws America…America screws Iraq…Iraq screws…

    This is how STDs happen, boys and girls. Remember to always use protection!

  12. Apologies to Technotronic (and to the readers in general)

    Pump up the oil
    Pump it up
    While OPEC is whinin’
    We’ll keep on refinin’
    On the market we’re dumpin’

    Pump it up a little more
    Watch the prices go down on the tradin’ floor
    We are where your gas is at
    We’ll only stop pumping if you’re bad

    I don’t want the price to stay
    Get your loot into my wallet tonight
    Make my day
    Don’t want our customers to go away
    Cross my palm with your dinars tonight
    Make my day

  13. are there no international laws against collusion?
    good for the saudis

  14. Or it is a short-term position to influence the internal affairs of another nation?

    I seriously doubt it. For one thing, I don’t know if the Saudis want McCain or Obama. For another, I don’t know which candidate would be helped by lower gas prices.

  15. are there no international laws against collusion?

    There are no international laws period.

  16. Perhaps he meant Iran or Russia, Dean?

  17. Woo Hoo! First time one of my tips has led to a story.

    Get’s you hard, doesn’t it? 😉

  18. Once upon a time (ten or more years ago) my pet theory was that the Saudis had a target price of $27- $28 dollars per barrel, because they did not want alternatives to be economically viable.

  19. P Brooks,

    With inflation that isnt far off my theory of $60 target.

  20. Doesn’t matter. That increased supply will have no effect on prices. It’s a scam.

  21. There are no international laws period.

    This is the first I’ve heard that the Law of the Sea, international treaties, the United Nations, and the International Criminal Court were all mass hallucinations.

    Say you don’t like things, fine. But don’t be that guy who claims that whatever they don’t like *doesn’t exist*. That’s fucking retarded, in the bad way.

  22. P. Brooks,
    I remember in the early nineties, the Germans were jacking up their gas tax by a couple hundred percent to cut consumption. The Saudi ambassador blurted out in public that the tax was an act of war against his nation and anything that pushed oil over 35$ a barrel would destroy Saudi Arabia. He claimed that they’d done studies to pindown the price when hardcore conservation and substitution would begin.

  23. lmnop,

    Treaties are laws of the countries that sign them.

    I can form an organization and pass all the “international laws” I want, but unless a country enforces them, which makes them a law of that country, then they dont exist (in a practical manner).

  24. Elemenope,

    How many laws let you mull them over for a few years before you decide whether to sign on?

    These are treaties. They’re voluntary, and, if any country really feels like it, they can even pull out of the treaty afterwards. Half the ones you’ve mentioned we’ve only signed on to with reservations, I think (LotS and ICC).

  25. BTW, I would never say interanational laws dont exist, I would say that are retarded because their is no international sovereignty.

  26. Treaties aren’t the same as laws. They only carry the force of law because they’ve been incorporated into actual domestic governments’ laws.

    Similarly, the UN and ICC make proclamations, not law. They can say any crazy thing they want (and they often do) but those proclamations do not carry the force of law unless there are existing domestic laws making it so. In that case, it’s quite a stretch to say it’s bona fide international law when it is in fact ordinary domestic laws that provide the force.

    For an interesting and recent story about just how binding “international law” is see Medellin v. Texas

  27. Law of the Sea

    Wait, there’s a law of the sea? Does that mean when I take hookers, blow, and full-auto machine guns out past US territorial waters and make and star in snuff films while higher than Tony Montana, I’m not totally in the clear?

  28. “. . . unless a country enforces them, which makes them a law of that country, then they dont exist (in a practical manner).”

    Careful, robc, you are chanting a summoning spell to bring John Austin crawling out of his grave to wreak more vengeance on the living.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1573928453/reasonmagazinea-20/

  29. Episiarch,

    Not sure about all that, but in international waters you can rebroadcast MLB games with only implied, oral consent.

  30. Plus monkey knife fights.

  31. And so the guys with the funny blue hard hats and semi-automatic rifles are also a part of the mass hallucination?

    Huh.

    robc hits saner ground by acknowledging the blindingly obvious point that there are international laws (i.e. *laws* between *nations*) but this whole “treaties are not laws” thing is just short of hilarious.

    Even article VI of the US Constitution defines them as binding law (superceding statute!) in the US. Which bears on the more general principle that a sovereign may choose to voluntarily cede some of its sovereignty if it so chooses.

  32. Speaking of the (absurdly low) gas tax, the Senate apparently has approved an eight billion dollar transfer of funds into the Highway Fund to cover the shortfall which has resulted from the reduction in overall fuel consumption.

    *Yes, I know; the best tax is no tax at all, but if you’re going to fund a government “service” it ought to be tied to usage.

  33. Epi,

    Last I checked, the treaty says you’re fine as long as you don’t dump any of that in the ocean or use it to accost commerce. I don’t see why you’d dump any or it in the ocean, but Tony Montana had a habit of accosting commerce.

    Oh, and you have to have a flag. Otherwise people can take you for a pirate.

  34. The point is that international law is unenforceable contract, which means literally no contract at all

  35. Does that mean when I take hookers, blow, and full-auto machine guns out past US territorial waters and make and star in snuff films while higher than Tony Montana, I’m not totally in the clear?

    “Starring” in snuff films makes for a short career, doesn’t it?

  36. Plus monkey knife fights.

    How gauche. Now, naked hooker knife fights, that is all class.

    Oh, and you have to have a flag. Otherwise people can take you for a pirate.

    But this is my flag!

  37. lmnop,

    The phrase “international law” implies to me a scenario like:

    local
    state
    federal
    international

    of increasing sovereignty. In reality, it is:
    local
    state
    federal (who has adopted some “international law” as federal law via treaty)

    Thus, I could say, there is no such thing as international law, because the only ones that matter are ones that are also federal law.

  38. Oh, and you have to have a flag.

    Based on comments in another thread, I think he just waves his penis around.

  39. Oh, and Gabe:

    Please, before you go any further with your arguments.

    1. Watch Zeitgeist 112 more times

    2. Get a copy of the 911 Commission Report, and numerologically analyze each and every fucking word till you break the secret code

    3. Compare your results to the complete works of Nostradamus, and find 5 correlations to his prophesy

    Then come back and give us a full report. I SHOULD be dead by then.

  40. Epi,

    How gauche.

    Are you claiming that The Simpson’s writers arent classy? Cause I was just stealing my material from them.

  41. “Starring” in snuff films makes for a short career, doesn’t it?

    You clearly don’t understand the oneiric nature of my snuff films.

  42. lmnop,

    You mean the troops prided to the UN by the constituent countries, in accordance with those countries’ laws?

    If you stepped back for a second, you’d see that robc and I are making the same essential point.

    No international sovereignty, no international monopoly on violence initiation = no international law.

    Treaties only carry the force of law because they are incorporated into domestic law. Treaties can’t be imposed on unwilling parties. Bona fide international law would have no such restrictions, nor need domestic incorporation to carry force.

    If the “law” is per se utterly impotent, it’s the same thing as not existing.

  43. The point is that international law is unenforceable contract, which means literally no contract at all

    If that were the case, why would nations bother?

    Seriously. It takes a great deal of effort to hammer out treaties and get them ratified by the several parties. If they really weren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on, why would nations bother?

    Methinks they know something that the commenters on this thread don’t seem to.

  44. Treaties can’t be imposed on unwilling parties.

    Tell that to Milosevic. Wasn’t he tried before the ICC that he rejected and denounced? I’m pretty sure his protestations did not prevail over the *enforcement* of anti-genocide provisions against him and his government.

  45. You are all forgetting that this whole thing is secretly run by the grey aliens, the Saudi’s are just their puppets

    BTW, I have a new blog. Not much on it yet, i’m still working on how to use/organize it. My own chaotic thought processes do not help..

  46. The Saudis are almost always the ones looking to keep OPEC prices (relatively) low. Thanks to David Friedman, I actually understand why.

    They are by far the largest producer in OPEC. The larger producers in any cartel will tend to want lower prices while the smaller producers will tend to want higher prices, because it’s easier for the smaller producers to cheat and neither be caught nor appreciably affect the product price.

    This is wonderful reading!

  47. Elemenope

    Just a reminder, the guys with the blue hats don’t get ammo with the guns and aren’t allowed to shoot anybody anyway. They pretty much just run around stealing stuff and trying to get the locals to trade sex for food and water.

  48. The end of the constant barrage of Palin threads has left me… a bit empty, I guess. Sort of like the irritating friend you don’t miss until he’s been run over by a riding mower. It’s odd. I even had a juicy hysterical hyperbole link all ready and everything. It’s like I have blog comment blue balls.

  49. Sugerfree,

    You need to go over to Althouse. She does to or three threads a day on Palin that always go between 200 to even 400 posts. It has been like that since Palin was anounced as a VP candidate. If you really feel the need to go on a Palin bender, Althouse has whatever flavor of crack you need.

  50. But they would just ban me for disagreeing. It’s not the same. I’m sure one will come along soon enough.

  51. “You clearly don’t understand the oneiric nature of my snuff films.”

    As a responsible user of snuff (Copenhagen), I find your comment to be very amusing.

    “The other OPEC guys just want the short term score.”

    Not to mention sticking it to the great satan US with high gas prices would be a feature, not a bug.

  52. Perhaps he meant Iran or Russia, Dean?

    Maybe.

    On the international law thing, treaties are a lot more like contracts than they are like laws, in that they are not binding on a sovereign nation without the consent of that nation. Exhibit A: the Kyoto Protocols, adopted by many but not by the US, and thus not binding on the US.

    When a country ratifies a treaty, that treaty becomes the law of that country to the extent that the ratification provides.

    Treaties can’t be imposed on unwilling parties.

    Tell that to Milosevic.

    Individuals aren’t parties to treaties; nations are. Milosevic’s rejection of the ICC is just about as relevant as Lyndy England’s rejection of the Geneva Conventions.

  53. Milosevic’s rejection of the ICC is just about as relevant as Lyndy England’s rejection of the Geneva Conventions.

    Not so fast. First, heads of state aren’t exactly “individuals” in the legal sense of the word. Second, I’m sure his rejection of the ICC was based on his country and his government *not having been party to the treaty that created it*, so you’re argument is off-point anyway.

  54. …about as off-point as that abuse of homonymy I just made. Replace “you’re” with “your”, if you’d be so kind.

  55. “Milosevic’s rejection of the ICC is just about as relevant as Lyndy England’s rejection of the Geneva Conventions”

    That is only true because he didn’t have the Army to back it up. A real great power like the US, China or Russia’s rejection is a bit more meaningful. Great powers are great powers and are going to act in their interests.

  56. the irritating friend you don’t miss until he’s been run over by a riding mower.

    I don’t miss him *that* much. And besides, the lawn looks fabulous.

  57. The end of the constant barrage of Palin threads has left me… a bit empty, I guess

    Sort of like how you feel after your wife uses the strap-on on you and then stops early because you’ve been “bad”? You really shouldn’t film that shit and post it on YouTube, dude.

  58. OPEC acts just like US farmers. They all agree to production cuts, but as soon as the price moves up 3 cents they all cheat and break their promises.

    How much Fannie and Freddie bonds do the Sauds hold?

  59. Sort of like how you feel after your wife uses the strap-on on you and then stops early because you’ve been “bad”? You really shouldn’t film that shit and post it on YouTube, dude.

    Your dreams are merging with your reality again, I see.

  60. that abuse of homonymy I just made

    I always knew Elemenope hated gay people.

  61. This isn’t surprising, every memeber of OPEC cheats. That’s why prices were at all-time lows in 1998 despite the open price-fixing conspiracy.

    They all get greedy.

  62. Perhaps this is just a nitpick, but Milosevic was not tried by the International Criminal Court. He was tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, a specialized body set up by the UN Security Council just for ex-Yugoslavia. Most of the defendants are Serbs – which in liberal terms would normally be a case of systemic racism, but not in this case of course because Serbs aren’t people of color.

  63. “which in liberal terms would normally be a case of systemic racism, but not in this case of course because Serbs aren’t people of color.”

    That and Bill Clinton fought that war. Belive me, had George Bush fought that war, we would hear no end about our criminal Albanian and Croation friends and the Serbian victims of cowboy imperialism. Also, if you go into the real fever swamps of the left, you will find people defending Milosovic and the Serbs. In some place no enemy of the US is too vile to defend.

  64. Your dreams are merging with your reality again, I see.

    Well, I did say my snuff films were oneiric.

  65. Also, if you go into the real fever swamps of the left, you will find people defending Milosovic and the Serbs.

    My most vivid memory of that conflict will always be the adorable little blond Serbian high school girl on TV, patiently explaining to a U.S. reporter than the Kurds were fleeing because NATO was bombing them.

  66. Kosovars, not Kurds*

  67. TallDave,

    Im sure the Kurds in Yugoslavia were fleeing. That is some kind of lost.

  68. Here is a highly interesting account of how the Kosovo Liberation Army waged a terrorist campaign against Serbia in a successful attempt to promote “humanitarian” intervention by the U.S.

  69. The KLA are basically a mafia. Not that the Serbs are nice guys either, but no one in that region hands are clean.

  70. ” how to respond to falling oil prices in a weakening global economic climate.”
    Wait until after the elections!

    For Conspiracy lovers out there?.here’s a bone?..

    On July 14, 2006 crude hit its high for the year at 78.40. It then went into a steady retreat to hit its low for the year at 54.86 on November 17, 2006. I believe the elections were on November 7th that year.
    On July 11th, 2008 crude hit its high for the year at 147.27. It has sense then, gone into a steady retreat where it currently stands at about 101.00 as I type this. The low for the year is 86.11 back in January. If I was a betting man (which I am), that’s my target for sometime after the elections. Where it goes from there might be dependent on the election outcome?.then again?..
    I’m not a conspiracy buff?.just a trend watcher?.

  71. “no one in that region hands are clean.”

    Something which ought to have given pause to the kumbayah Clintonite interventionists and the neocon “national-greatness” types before they singled out one of the participants in the Balkan warfare as uniquely evil.

  72. Second, I’m sure his rejection of the ICC was based on his country and his government *not having been party to the treaty that created it*, so you’re argument is off-point anyway.

    Apparently, so would be a rejection of the ICC because your country wasn’t a party to the treaty creating it, if you weren’t being tried by the ICC.

  73. Look. It was just funny when some commenters were making the comparison, but when the main page of Jezebel is comparing Sarah Palin’s vision of America with The Handmaiden’s Tale, I feel confident diagnosing feminism with Palin Derangement Syndrome.

    They are out of the fucking minds.

  74. “That’s fucking retarded, in the bad way”

    You insensative bastard!

  75. Mad Max,

    We got suckered into that war. That war never was sanctioned by the Security Council. Russia and China both threatened to veto resuloutions authorizing it. That is something that your typical pants wetting democrat never wants to hear when they are whaling and pounding the floor about how Bush invaded Iraq without UN authorization.

  76. Uh, I was just making a funny with “Palin Derangement Syndrome.” I didn’t know professional assbag Malkin started using it…

  77. Apparently…if you weren’t being tried by the ICC.

    Point taken. I was mistaken as to which court was the trial body. But Mad Max’s addition to our body of facts only makes the situation for “the only int’l laws are voluntary treaties” folks worse, since the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was *certainly* not recognized by the government of Serbia.

    The only argument left is that, I suppose, because Serbia was a (provisional?) member of the United Nations at the time, perhaps their membership in that body was de facto consent for the tribunal to be created. But that in turn implies that the UN is capable of unilaterally abrogating sovereignty of nations…

    Hm…

    No line of argument leads to anywhere but a deeper hole. That international laws exist, sometimes without the consent of party nations, seems to be the only legitimate conclusion to be drawn from the Milosevic example.

  78. You insensative bastard!

    I’m impressed that Trig is up to Hit & Run commentary standards, high as they are.

    And yes, yes I am.

  79. I am confused Sugerfree. I thought her running for VP made things like Putin’s Russia. Don’t these idiots understand how bad they make the Democrats look and how much they hurt their own cause? If I were Obama, I would put a hit out on them to get them to shut up.

  80. John,

    Without the chattering classes where would the Democratic Party be? He can’t afford to shut them up, but they are approaching Troofer levels of nuttiness.

  81. No international sovereignty, no international monopoly on violence initiation = no international law.

    No, Love is the Law:

    http://216.17.63.111/movies/suburbs/litl-h.mov

  82. RC,

    There really isn’t a good argument for extending the jurisdication of ICTY over Serbia, beyond might makes right. Serbia never signed onto it or submitted itself to it. Further, Milosovic was the head of a sovereign country and immune form criminal prosecution. Imagine if the ICC grabbed a US official overseas. The US never agreed to jurisdiction of the ICC over its members. People would go apeshit and rightfully so. Milosovic was a real asshole, but I don’t think prosecuting him was a very good idea.

  83. Why are you surprised, NutraSweet? I just commented the other day on a Marcotte/KMW thread that she was making it sound like we lived in The Handmaid’s Tale.

  84. “Without the chattering classes where would the Democratic Party be? He can’t afford to shut them up, but they are approaching Troofer levels of nuttiness.”

    They are and it hurts the Democrats. Why do the Democrats have an image of being elitist even though poor people tend to be Democratic? Because the most puplic and vocal Democrats in the world are elitist, hypocritical assholes in the media, academia, and Hollywood. Imagine if a large portion of the media, and all of academia and Hollywood in the 1950s had been infested with John Birch society whackos who made no secret of their wackyness. How many national elections would the Republicans have won? Damn few. The “liberal media” such as it is, is a ball and chain on the Democrats not a help.

  85. Well, it was trickling in for a little while, now it seems to be a flood.

    That they could believe, even in the middle of a hyperbolic fit, that the majority men would allow their wives/daughters/mothers/sisters/friends to be enslaved for the benefit of a theocratic few indicates that they hate men on a very basic level.

    But I forget…

    “Sarah Palin is attractive” = misogyny

    and

    “Men want to sell us into slavery for breeding purposes” = enlightened political commentary

  86. lmnop,

    That international laws exist, sometimes without the consent of party nations, seems to be the only legitimate conclusion to be drawn from the Milosevic example.

    How about, “after a war, the winners sometimes use legal sounding bodies to punish the losers”? In days of yore, countries didnt need to justify imprisoning/executing the losers.

  87. “Men want to sell us into slavery for breeding purposes” = enlightened political commentary”

    I think there might be some wish fulfillment going on there. Kind of like the scene in South Park where the cops grab the gay teacher in the locker room and he drops his towel and stands against the wall and yells “no Mr. Policeman, don’t violate me”.

  88. I swallow!

  89. “I’m not a conspiracy buff?.just a trend watcher?.”

    And yet, you still wear capri pants.

  90. Oneiric Girl | September 11, 2008, 3:02pm | #

    I swallow!

    Ha ha!

  91. John, Sugarfree,

    Go get a fucking room!!!

  92. Yeah, yeah… you anonymous coward. Let’s all talk about fucking Bosnia some more. We’ll have that solved in just a few more threads.

  93. No Sugerfree, lets argue about Iraq some more. Maybe Joe is oncall and can get on the thread to.

  94. “Yeah, yeah… you anonymous coward”

    Sugarfreejay? That’s your real name?

    Jesus! This whole, one can’t present an opinion without an email address is both bogus and anti-libertarian.

    What Reason needs to do is establish an open Palin thread to cull out the feeble.

  95. Does that mean when I take hookers, blow, and full-auto machine guns out past US territorial waters and make and star in snuff films while higher than Tony Montana, I’m not totally in the clear?

    What, do you work for Minerals Management Service of the Department of Interior?

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/10/news/economy/oil_officials.ap/index.htm

  96. “And yet, you still wear capri pants.”

    I guess you’re not going to hit on me then?.***shrugs***

  97. Sugarfreejay? That’s your real name?

    It’s at least an email address that actually works, tuff gai.

  98. Jesus! This whole, one can’t present an opinion without an email address is both bogus and anti-libertarian.

    Go ahead and show me where I said you had to give a email address to post or use your real name.

    I just assumed you are a regular poster hiding behind a temp-name to be funny. Dial the whining asshole act back a little.

  99. “Go ahead and show me where I said you had to give a email address to post or use your real name”

    “you anonymous coward”.

  100. Cartel means never having to say you’re Saudi.

    Oh, and $45/barrel oil between now and 2012.

  101. Well, it was your long and storied career posting here as “Enough About Palin” that should have tipped me off that weren’t momentarily adopting a name just to make a playful slap at John or I to suggest, I don’t know, that you might be tired with discussions of Sarah Palin.

    But feel free to put some more words in my mouth.

  102. “Oh, and $45/barrel oil between now and 2012.”

    That reminds me that about two years ago Chavez said oil should be capped at $50/bl. I asked my boss, an energy analyst, what he thought about that and he said it meant Chavez was afraid the price was going to drop below $50. Of course it didn’t, but I’ve always wondered what would have happened — not that it would have bee likely — if OPEC had made a commitment to that price cap.

  103. The only argument left is that, I suppose, because Serbia was a (provisional?) member of the United Nations at the time, perhaps their membership in that body was de facto consent for the tribunal to be created.

    Actually, I wonder if Milosevic lacked standing to assert that the trial court lacked jurisdiction, as the jurisdiction of the court over one of its citizens was a matter for the government to consent or object to.

    There really isn’t a good argument for extending the jurisdication of ICTY over Serbia, beyond might makes right. Serbia never signed onto it or submitted itself to it.

    That doesn’t help, but if Serbia did not intervene in the proceedings, it could be said to have given de facto consent.

    Don’t get me wrong, the whole thing gives me deep misgivings. It sounds like “sovereignty creep”, with the UN trying to pick up attributes of sovereignty over anyone on the planet, on the sly.

    Further, Milosovic was the head of a sovereign country and immune form criminal prosecution.

    Sovereign immunity is one of those “principles” that I am deeply conflicted about.

  104. Oh, and $45/barrel oil between now and 2012.

    Talk is cheap. Are you shorting the market?

    I think we’ll be lucky to see the south side of $100 for any length of time.

  105. RC,

    If I knew how to short oil I would. It will be at $80 a barrell before the end of next summer.

  106. “Well, it was your long and storied career posting here as “Enough About Palin” that should have tipped me off that weren’t momentarily adopting a name just to make a playful slap at John or I to suggest, I don’t know, that you might be tired with discussions of Sarah Palin.”

    I started posting here three days ago under the handle Libertarian and for some reason this guy named joe started making false claims that I had attacked him. I had not. So I decided to try posting again with a different handle and given that nearly every Hit & Run topic for the last three day has been about Palin, I decided to go with Enough About Palin. From this point on that’s the handle I’ll use so you’ll who it is and because it now carries a bit of irony. I have even created a gmail account just to keep everything halal.

    enough.about.palin@gmail.com

    I am male, fifty-one-years-old, live and work in a large urban center and work in the energy sector, which is what attracted me to this energy-related thread. So you can imagine my frustration when it so quickly devolved.

  107. “I think we’ll be lucky to see the south side of $100 for any length of time.”

    From today’s news:

    “New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for October, slid 1.71 dollars to close at 100.87 dollars a barrel.

    In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October dropped 1.33 dollars to settle at 97.64 dollars a barrel on Thursday — its lowest level since March 5”

    I suspect it will brush up against $80/bl fairly soon, but not below.

  108. Enough About Palin,

    Stick around. In a few years your handle will be pleasantly retro-hip.

    Most discussions around here de-evolve. I blame the chronic shortage of open threads to hold our short attention span antics.

  109. “Stick around. In a few years your handle will be pleasantly retro-hip.”

    The duration of my stay here will depend on the civility of that joe fellow.

  110. Then you might as well leave now. 😉

  111. The duration of my stay here will depend on the civility of that joe fellow.

    joe is typically civil, but I wouldn’t hang your hat on such a flimsy hook.

    You should develop a thick skin if you want to be involved in the discussions around here. joe is not, by any means, the least civil regular…he is, however, the most regular.

  112. Enough about Palin,

    A hint for newbies.

    joe (with a small j) is not the same guy as Joe (with a capital J).

    Watch for the rules on the drinking game.

    Did you have any thoughts on the actual topic of the thread?

  113. I was under the impression that the Saudis have been cheating on their OPEC quotas for years.

  114. Joe can be civil as long as he doesn’t obviously lose an argument. He was exceptionally uncivl the other day because he didn’t have a good response. When he starts getting uncivil, that just means that he is losing.

  115. joe: capital-D Democrat, fond of strawmen arguments and often demands links to evidence while refusing to provide his own

    Neu Mejican: politest and most insightful of the left-of-center posters

    Fluffy: anti-McCain fanatic, but a libertarian. Smart and deadly–like his namesake

    J sub D: libertarian and valued member of the community

    SugarFree: mostly makes jokes, turns into a complete asshole when taken out of context or discussing feminism

    Episiarch: SugarFree’s cretinous side-kick

    John: Republican; the last living supporter of the Iraq War; frequent sparring partner for joe

    R C Dean: libertarian, good on the party line

    Elemenope: thoughtful youngster, the future of libertarianism if he can shake off the last vestiges of college liberalism

    Orange Line Special: psycho-racist anti-immigrantion troll; aka Lonewhacko; changes his handle constantly to avoid the people who filter him (the vast majority)

  116. John | September 11, 2008, 4:45pm | #
    Joe can be civil as long as he doesn’t obviously lose an argument. He was exceptionally uncivl the other day because he didn’t have a good response. When he starts getting uncivil, that just means that he is losing.

    John, you always say that, but it is usually when you and joe are yelling past each other. In this context I think it is a snark that lacks civility

    ;^)

    joe, like others, also gets uncivil in response to people mischaracterizing his arguments, making ad-hom arguments against him, frustrated with his discourse partner playing dumb/or being thick headed, etc… I have certainly seen him win an argument in a very uncivil manner on more than one occasion.

  117. Neu Mejican: politest and most insightful of the left-of-center posters

    Fuck you you right wing twit.

    8^p

    For the record, according to all those political compass quizzes, I am a radical centrist with a a bit of a bias towards anti-authoritarianism…not a hint of a left bias, nor a right bias.

    I am the balance point around which the left right axis tilts.

  118. If I knew how to short oil I would.

    Its traded on the commodity markets like anything else. Just Google around. One word of warning, though – shorting commodity futures is very high-risk – as the price goes up, your losses go up, so your losses are potentially unlimited. I’d go options if I were you – you can only lose what you paid for the option.

    Caveat – my one venture into commodity trading was over 10 years ago. I lost.

  119. Reason Primer – not bad.

    joe is a slippery bastard, given to moving goalposts, reframing, redefining, red herrings, all my favorite tricks (so I know ’em when I see ’em), but he will press you hard and make you raise your game. Arguing with joe is a great lesson in how assumptions and premises drive conclusions.

    Neu generally has too many damn facts, so I don’t like arguing with him.

    And no list of regulars is complete without thoreau, who must have a real job now or something.

    thoreau – when you look up “reasonable man” in the dictionary, that’s his picture next to the entry.

  120. “John, you always say that, but it is usually when you and joe are yelling past each other. In this context I think it is a snark that lacks civility”

    I argue with Joe a lot and sometimes he makes good points. When he makes good points he can be downright charitable. When you start pointing out things he doesn’t like or he has a weak position, he starts getting snarky. The thread Enough about Palin referred to above is a good example. Joe was trying to claim that Palin was not a good addition to McCain’s ticket. You may hate Palin, but at least thus far she resurected McCain from the dead for better or worse. Joe was really out on a limb and he started getting hostile. That is typical Joe.

  121. “Did you have any thoughts on the actual topic of the thread?”

    I think the Saudis are concerned about Iranian regional hegemony more than anything else and want to keep it in check. They know it’s in their best financial and existential interest to keep oil out of the $147/bl range. When push comes to shove, they need a strong America.

    One can claim the Saudis are religious extremists financing madrassas worldwide, but one could also say essentially the same thing about Pat Robertson and (the late?) Billy Graham. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall the Saudis ever bombing their neighbors out of spite, as Iraq did in the first Gulf war or as Iran does now via proxies. But I could be wrong.

    As someone said earlier here, they’re billionaire businessmen.

    Oil infrastructure can be an early casualty of war. They don’t want that.

  122. “Joe can be civil as long as he doesn’t obviously lose an argument”

    I think that’s what happened to me (as Libertarian) three nights back on the Community Organizer thread. He asked me what I was doing to help “Banging any nails, attending any board meetings?” I told him yes; I had inherited my grandparent’s house and was renovating in order to donate its use (not the asset itself) to house two pregnant or parenting teen moms who were actively earning a high school diploma. His response was to attack me.

    And while this is off topic, if the government wasn’t siphoning off so much of what I earn, the project would be completed much sooner than planned.

  123. This isn’t surprising, every memeber of OPEC cheats. That’s why prices were at all-time lows in 1998 despite the open price-fixing conspiracy.

    The bottom dropping out of the market was more due to Asian (and some other ROTW) growth coming to an abrupt halt, and in some cases reversing.

  124. Enough About Palin,

    On topic.
    Sounds about right to me.
    I think it is in our interests, however, to get as far from the Saudis as we can as soon as we can. “The Saudis” have not bombed their neighbors, but Saudis have certainly attacked us directly and a lot of the money used to finance those attacks came right from our own wallets. Saudi money certainly continues to at least partially finance the fight in Afghanistan.

    On the rude joe from a couple of days ago…I think you got caught up in general shit storm after joe was already riled up by others.

    John,

    Okay. I was just yanking your chain anyway.

  125. Re: shorting oil

    You could also try to buy puts on a ETF. Most of the retail online brokerages allow you to do this now.

    (did it with GLD couple months ago; up 100% but chickened out an sold, now would be up even more)

  126. RC Dean,

    Neu generally has too many damn facts, so I don’t like arguing with him.

    Sorry about that. Bad habit. But one that’s hard to break.

    On the Anbar/surge timeline from a previous thread:

    The surge was announced on Jan. 10, 2007. That’s four months after the “tipping point” at which the Anbar Awakening really got under way, and three and a half months after the briefing at which McFarland described the success of the Awakening. McFarland and his troops left Anbar in February of 2007 …, before any of the surge troops would have arrived.

    More:

    http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/MarApr08/Smith_AnbarEngMarApr08.pdf

  127. Whatever. Everyone knows that I’m Epi’s cretinous side-kick.

  128. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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