The Next President: Three Crises to Face
The US President will face several challenges upon first assuming office. Each will be intricately interwoven with the other. Probably one of the first problems to face the new President will be the price of Oil. Each of the two likely winners are firmly in the pockets of 'Big Oil'. Gore has his fortunes from the old Billionaire Armand Hammer and was willed a hefty amount of Occidental Petroleum stock upon Hammers death. Bush on the other hand has his father's legacy of riches from big Oil. Bush Sr. made his money in oil from the Oil industry specifically in Kuwait, and his great-grand Father made his fortune trading with the Nazi's. While this may be neither here nor there to holocaust deniers and those that really believe that such things are 'OK', they must be considered when assessing the core of each man and the circumstances that molded their early lives. Both have strong ties to the oil industry. These facts are not meant to smear either candidate, but to give some history on the past and the financial interests of each.
Of the these two political camps, one was very close the Soviet Union (Armand Hammer/Gore) and obtained substantial money from them, the other was in bed with the Nazi's (the Bush lineage*). Oil and blood-money played intricate web in the fortunes of both men. These aspects of the background of our two mainstream presidential candidates are deliberately ignored in the mainstream press, who are owned by many of the interests that benefited then and are benefiting from the 'new economy'.
For a little background on these two candidates, take a look at these links:
Yet it will be one of these two men who will be in the White House on January 21, 2001. One of these men will be faced with two, possibly three major crisis in the first year of his administration. Briefly, here are these crises in order:
1. Oil Prices/Heating Oil Crisis - This may (40% probability) become serious. Heating stocks in the country are very low, lower than last year, which were then at critical levels. While it appears that people will be able to heat their homes this winter and that there will be no critical shortages (as in no oil for some regions), there will be a 'sticker shock' in many places as oil and natural gas prices have increased dramatically. The real problem in assessing the reasons for these price increases have been well covered by a myriad of economists from both establishment and non-establishment backgrounds. In essence while the mainstream press has railed against OPEC, their production has not been hindered and their actions have not caused the spike in prices that we now see. There are many factors involved, from bottlenecks at refineries and poorly explained 'shutdowns' at these facilities. Additionally speculation in the oil industry has had an effect on the price of oil globally and plays a significant factor. This is because oil is actually traded on the futures markets via contracts for a delivery by a certain month. This causes oil prices to rise rapidly on the flimsiest of rumors, some deliberately spread in order to drive up the price of the crude oil contracts. What has made this possible, in short is derivatives. When you see the price of oil, it is actually a derivatives price of an oil contract slated to delivery at some later date. The perceptions based on rumors and conjecture created, drive the price of oil to these absurd levels. Oil prices are also a reflection of a word that has become anathema to the financial elite. It is the outward manifestation of the word inflation. Additionally, the recent spate of oil mergers is exacerbating an already precarious situation. August 11, 1998, BP and Amoco merged and later on December 1st of the same year, Exxon and Mobil merged. Now Texaco and Chevron are in (stalled) merger talks. This consolidation of power in the oil industry reduces competition and moves the economy towards monopolization of the oil industry. These factors do not bode well for any future decline in the price of oil. In fact a sharp increase in the price of oil is likely over the medium term.
2. Middle East Crisis - This is a crisis that will not go away any time soon. While no one is saying it now, but the peace process that was started in Oslo is now dead. It will not be resurrected again. Any peace agreement to come in the future will have to begin again from scratch. The Palestinians have missed a golden opportunity for statehood, and a sizeable chunk of land. That opportunity is gone forever. The challenge for the US will be to contain the crisis and keep it a Palestinian vs. Israel issue and not have it escalate to an Israeli vs. Arab or God forbid and Israeli Vs. Islamic issue. This crisis could escalate to exacerbate Crisis #1 in that if it becomes an Israeli/Arab Issue the oil weapon could be used against those nations that support Israel. That could cause a very serious spike on oil prices that would be more than a simple inconvenience for Americans.
3. Economic Slowdown Banking/Currency Crisis - This is a crisis that is coming probably in the next administration, but it will not reach crisis proportions in the first year. I will not go into detail here other that to say two banking crisis have been narrowly averted in the last 18 months and more are on the way. The Fed and the Treasury have quietly bailed out our banks in the recent past, this may come as a shock to most, yet it is true and more importantly the world economy has some serious problems festering underneath the surface prosperity it now enjoys. The entire Global financial system is one derivatives disaster away from a total meltdown. European leaders in banking and politics have been warning about the dangers inherent, especially in the overvalued US Stock markets. This will be a crisis that will at grow slowly as the next administration gets settled into office. By late 2003 it will be a full-grown crisis.For a slide show of some troubling economic data see The Prudent Bear Web Page.
These are some of the major crisis that the next President will be facing upon ascending to office. There will undoubtedly be many more as yet unforeseen problems but these are certainly ones for which the next President will face. Who that man will be is another question entirely. A more conservative leader both morally, politically and economically will do the country a lot of good. The excesses of the past administration and its deceptive claims of unlimited prosperity, while the nations industrial base has contracted, needs to be replaced by someone with more a more conservative outlook and realistic approach.
*I am not suggesting that the younger Bush is in anyway affiliated with the Nazi or Neo-Nazi movement today or at any times in the past.