Oil rig

Politics is bumping up the price of oil

Sanctions, wars, and economic crises... who knew a price tag could be so revealing?

Oil is selling at almost $75 a barrel, the highest it's been in about 3 and a half years.

What it means: It doesn't sound like much of a story, but the price of oil can actually tell you a lot about what's going on in the world of politics – and it plays a big part in the energy bills we pay, too.

People who analyse the price of oil (yup, that's a job!) are pointing to a series of dramatic international developments in the past few weeks to explain why the price has skyrocketed recently. One, people think Trump may place sanctions on oil from Iran, which basically means it's US government policy not to buy or sell any from them. Iran is one of the world's largest oil producers, so if their oil's been forced out of the market, that means there's far less available internationally – which makes what's left more valuable.

Secondly, the military strikes last week in Syria mean investors aren't sure how peaceful the Middle East is gonna be for the next few months, and how easy it'll be to get oil out of there. Again: fear of lower supply in the near future = higher demand for what we've got right now.

The 'Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) is meeting next week, and presumably this is gonna come up. Saudi Arabia, the world's number one oil exporter, is going to try and make sure the price stays high, because they fund most of their public services and infrastructure projects from oil.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?