Monday, April 5, 2010
That's how much money the U.S. is paying annually for the Oil it imports at today's rate and price.
At our peak of Oil imports back in 2006 - 12.5 million bpd, given today's price that number would have been $397 BILLION. Same price, far less imports.
See how the Oil import decline is going to fix our trade deficit?
Here is something else to think about...
If the U.S. does not run a trade deficit... the mirror image is some other country is no longer running a trade surplus... and that means they won't have any US$'s to lend us... which means either we will save enough to fund our deficits, or we will engage in perpetual quantitative easing (yes, I know that it is really "qualitative" easing, but that's not how its known in the media).
The question of the moment is just how high an Oil price can the U.S. economy and the industrialized West withstand? Is it the price per barrel? The % of GDP? Or the physics of declining ability to do "work" (as that word is defined in physics)? Does the difference in unemployment since the U.S. was last importing 12.5 million bpd and now with our 9.5 million bpd in imports, change the equation?
And why is the stock market screaming ahead with $87 per barrel Oil and 4% 10 year bond yields? Housing prices have only declined further over the past 12 months, yet the financial sector, along with retail (RETAIL!), is leading the charge (you might recall that the banks still have this stuff on their books marked-to-fantasy). Maybe things were that over sold... maybe I am just sour grapes... maybe...but I don't think the laws of physics or economics have been repealed.
Our politics just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Our national psyche is - to use a technical term - FUBAR. All f*&^ed up. We hate. We're angry. An episode of Nancy Grace is indicative enough of the sorry state of affairs... night after night of who cheated on who... WHO CARES? Well... Somebody does. Call them the Sex Police.
We have Tea Bagger's, Civil Righter's, Feminazi's... and militant gays, christians, jews, muslims...fatso's ... good grief, what next? Militant Boy Scouts? Maybe terrorist elderly?
"This is the duty of our generation as we enter the twenty-first century — solidarity with the weak, the persecuted, the lonely, the sick, and those in despair. It is expressed by the desire to give a noble and humanizing meaning to a community in which all members will define themselves not by their own identity but by that of others." - Elie Wiesel
I used to live in the same building in New York as Mr. Wiesel for a year or so. In New York you see celebrities fairly often, but when you would ride in the elevator with Elie Wiesel you feel his weight and his history on you... I never said more than "good morning" or "good evening" to the man, but as far as I could tell, and given his passion, I never felt a sense of anger - at least not in the way that the cigarette smoking skin head that seemed to want to kill me for not driving fast enough on I40 the other day.
I watched it rain last night. My 3 year old son and I sat on the front porch and watched the clouds and winds gather in an incredible display of nature's power and fury - it was breathtaking... We must have watched nature's fireworks for a couple of hours from our warm and dry vantage point, and when I went to bed I wasn't even remotely concerned about who Tiger slept with... I wasn't angry with Nancy Pelosi... but I was impressed with the show right outside our front door.
I have no idea what it means... but I do think we are being made angry by our media addiction. And some how, I don't think its good for us.
Posted by The Short Story Man at 7:14 PM