The Economic Tsunami:Coming Sooner Than You Think

Posted on Saturday, April 09 at 09:15 by Spud
The administration is currently putting as much pressure as possible on OPEC to ratchet up the flow of oil another 1 million barrels per day (well over capacity) to settle down nervous markets and buy time for the planned bombing of Iran in June. Like Fed Chief Alan Greenspan's artificially low interest rates, the manipulation of oil production is a way of concealing how dire the situation really is. Rising prices at the pump signal an upcoming recession, (depression?) so the administration is pulling out all the stops to meet the short term demand and maintain the illusion that things are still okay. (Bush would rather avoid massive popular unrest until his battle-plans for Iran are carried out) http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney04082005.html

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  1. Sat Apr 09, 2005 9:25 pm
    I wonder where this fits in then?<br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Asian_Economy/GD09Dk01.html">http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Asian_Economy/GD09Dk01.html</a><br />
    <br />
    The US appears to be in the same boat Canada was with our huge deficit. Welcome to even more of the CCCE/AEI ear pulling kind of governance USAmerica!<p>---<br>"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche<br />

  2. by avatar Spud
    Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:38 pm
    Don`t know 4Canada,but it sure is interesting.We will find out in about 1-2 months how accurate this is.
    I gotta admit it is all very confusing.

  3. by hoopoe
    Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:06 am
    I agree that it is a very interesting article but it is also very troubling, especially the part of Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. to push the American economy into bankruptcy in the event Iran is attacked. If the the present power structure is in place in the US, ie. neocons, when such a plan is implemented I could easily see it leading to a third world war with the US seeking alliances (read coercion) from its neighbors (Canada and Mexico) to provide it with resources to fight it. Those seeking empire rarely go down without a fight. Hopefully, the supposed strength of checks and balances of the American system of government will come alive this time to prevent a Bush invasion of Iran (it certainly failed in Iraq). <p>Also, to say that America's trade deficit is running at 6% right now is totally understated. For instance, I recall seeing a PBS report not too long ago called "Is Walmart Good For America" that detailed the changes of the USA's trading relationship with China. Here is a quote from the program, which can be viewed online in full at <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/">PBS: Is Wal-Mart Good For America?</a>. The person they are interviewing here is the Port of Long Beach communications director, Yvonne Smith. <blockquote>In 1990, around the time she first joined the Port, Long Beach handled 2 million tons of cargo from China. Today, Chinese imports have rocketed to nearly 28 million tons, with much of the growth in the last five years. And consider this -- imports from Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea combined are still 7 million tons shy of what arrives from China alone.<p> "If you're in the trans-Pacific trade, you're moving Chinese cargo," says Smith. "China is doing the manufacturing, the United States is buying it." <p> We boarded a charter boat to cruise the port and take a closer look at today's supertankers of global trade. Smith explained that most ships average about 5,600 containers, but the new ones can carry 8,200. Some of the big box retail giants like Wal-Mart -- the port's number one customer -- fill entire ships, which take at least three days to unload. You couldn't help but be awed by the sheer scale of the undertaking, but what caught my eye was a gleaming mountain of scrap metal being loaded onto an old beat-up freighter. <p> Back in the late '90s, the politicians and multi-nationals pushed free trade with China as, among other things, an enormous opportunity to bolster U.S. manufacturing. The picture they painted was of an emerging Chinese market, its 1.2 billion consumers eagerly awaiting American-made products, everything from chemicals to computers. But that's not the picture you'll find now on Terminal Island. <p> Last year we imported $36 billion of goods from China. We exported only $3 billion and most of what we sent out was raw materials to service China's production boom. "We export cotton; we bring in clothing," Smith explained. "We export hides; we bring in shoes. We export scrap metal; we bring back machinery."<p> Add it all up and you get a record trade deficit with China that will likely exceed $150 billion this year. "You definitely see the imbalance in trade when you come down to the port," says Smith.</blockquote> Using these numbers, this translates to a trade deficit of 8.5%. I haven't heard anything about India, but the US trade deficit with them is likely to be roughly the same since the US is using India in much the same way they are using China, ie. cheap labor.

  4. by avatar Spud
    Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:19 am
    Thanks for the story and link hoopoe.

  5. Wed Oct 12, 2005 1:02 pm
    I doubt the US will invade Iran a la Iraq. If you do the math it seems improbable. Take Iraq for example:

    25MM people of which 20% are Sunni (5MM). The Sunni are causing most of the difficulties for the US since (no brainer) they are out of power; the Kurds are happy (since they have a quasi-independent state) and the Shia are awaiting the eventual exit of the US.

    So 5MM Sunni, 50% of which are children (2.5MM) and half the remainder are women (1.25MM). So that means 1.25MM Sunni arab men are bogging down 150,000 US soldiers.

    Now do the math for Iran:

    70MM people; 50% Persian Shia leaves 35MM; 50% children leaves 17.5MM persian Shia adults; and 50% women leaves ~9MM Persian Shia men. Now add that Iran is full of mountains and does not have easy access to the ocean. The Americans know that they would have much more trouble than in Iraq so it's not gonna happen unilaterally. Bush's statements are mere puffery.

    However, the neo cons still have Iran in their sites. I would expect the US to continue pressuring the regime as the currently are. Possibly the US will forment minority dissatisfication with the Iran regime akin to Afghanistan (considering Iran is 25% Azerbaijani; 10% Kurd; and 10% Arab - all of which have been oppressed by the Persian majority). Might be a quick way to bring down the goverment.



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