Thursday, February 12, 2009

Paying for Oil

From Energy Bulletin comes this commentary by Richard Vodra, a financial advisor on the issue of Peak Oil. It's in plain English and he makes an important point on the linkage between the current economic crisis and oil;

Second, the US has had to borrow extensively to finance its oil imports. When oil is $80 per barrel—twice today’s price—and we import 14 million barrels per day, that comes to $1.1 billion per day, or $400 billion per year. Some of that is paid for by our exports, but much has been made possible by foreign purchases of our debt securities. With the massive deficits America is creating to finance the bailouts and recovery packages, who will lend us money in the future? What interest rates, or other security, will they demand? It is reasonable to assume that at some point foreign investors will drastically reduce the investments that fund our imports.

Globalization is pervasive, and those who would turn back the clock must come to grips with the fact that we cannot just pull the plug on it. As noted above, we rely on others as much as they rely on us, and at this point we really do need the cooperation of offshore entities. I wonder of President Obama's staff recognizes the linkages and the potential impact of any stimulus or bailout bills. Just as important, do the Republicans "get it"?

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