Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oil Trading In Weimar Reichmarks?

News item: Iran Oil Bourse Next Week. This issue does not go away. I quote:
Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh said on Wednesday that the establishment of Oil Stock Exchange is in its final stage and the bourse will be launched in Iran in the next week...

It does not go away because it is part of the worldwide trend. Not just Iran, but also Dubai, Qatar, and Norway are among the countries that are planning to open energy trading bourses. Both Qatar and Dubai have stated they will trade in US dollars. Norway prefers Euros, and seems to have the support of Russia. It looks like the days when Britain and the USA were the only market makers in oil (and other commodities) are nearly over.

These new bourses are not in themselves an immediate threat to the dollar. The dollar is heading for a train wreck all on its own. The new bourses may be part of a solution. Not a solution from the United States' perspective, but a solution for the rest of the world. If there is a dollar crisis, it will throw the whole global commodities trading system into crisis. They will have to switch to either euros or gold, no matter what governments prefer. Imagine that the Reichmarks of Weimar Germany were the worldwide trading currency. And that Weimar was trying to bully the globe into supporting it.

Could a dollar crisis be averted? Yes. If the USA immediately withdrew its foreign military forces, and launched a crash energy conservation program. Obviously this sort of thing will not happen. I don't have much confidence in the euro either. The ECB inflated the Euro supply at 8% last year, about the same as the US dollar. The pound inflated at 12%! Thus gold will regain status as the de facto world currency.

1 comment:

Tom said...

In economic terms, an Iranian Oil Bourse represents a much greater threat to the U.S. than an Iranian nuclear first strike!