The stock market took a big dip today on reports that the European banks are hoarding the cash they were recently provided by the European Central Bank to keep them solvent. A failure to loan money will reinforce the austerity death spiral that Europe is already undertaking. If these reports are accurate then Wall Street took it rather calmly, it should be raining stock brokers. Oh wait, they only lose your money.
Threats from Iran to block the Strait of Hormuz cutting off 20% of the world’s oil supply came in response to new sanctions against anyone who trades with Iran. The oil market hasn’t reacted to the threat yet but the US corporate media is talking it up on one hand and dismissing it on the other, but they’re talking $5 gasoline by summer just the same. Under the new sanctions, it could in theory become difficult for any country to buy oil from Iran.
It was a year of records for gasoline in the US: record low demand; record high consumer expenditures for gas; and record high exports of gasoline and diesel out of the United States. That’s the so-called “free market” for you, it’s only free for billionaires who are free to take as much as they can gouge out of you.
For those of you too young to remember before the unchecked spree of the Bush Crime Family: gasoline was under a dollar; the ten year embargo on Iraq oil exports was about to end, potentially flooding an already glutted world market with really cheap oil; and Al Gore was elected President.
Under Bush we saw oil go from $18/barrel to $140/barrel. It did fall to half that when the Wall Street banks were temporarily forced from the market, but has since reclaimed the $100/barrel level, and could surge again with the Iran war. The Dodd-Frank Act specifically bans banks from this sort of trading but the Republicans dominate the Federal commissions that are effectively gutting the law. Obama is being blocked from making appointments by the Senate, and from making recess appointments by the House whose permission is required by the Senate to adjourn.
When will the 99% stop giving everything to the one percent on the “free” market, and then letting the one percent charge us for it? www.prairie2.com