Good news for Generic Republican, who already has established himself as a legitimate contender for the White House in 2012: OPEC is not bailing us out. The oil cartel is making it known that it is cool with $100 oil and will not act unless prices move significantly higher and stay there. Oil, like most commodities, has been rising steadily as governments around the world keep their printing presses running to dump new money into the global economy.
Oil producers have a real good to sell, one with intrinsic value. They do not want to be paid in devalued currencies. Neither do producers selling precious metals, fertilizer, farm products, etc., which is one reason why wholesale food prices are going zoom, zoom, zoom.
Oil at $100 and unemployment ~10 percent is bad news for Obama’s reelection hopes, of course. (It should go without saying that it is bad for America, too, and that I do not wish for economic suffering to be visited upon my fellow citizens in order to hamper the Obama administration.) But you know what’s even worse than $100 oil? $150 oil, which the CEO of Gulf says would not surprise him. There will be tremendous political pressure put on OPEC and the other producers if that happens. But why would OPEC want to bail us out? What is in it for them? Devalued U.S. dollars? If the Obama administration will not get behind a solid dollar for sound economic reasons, maybe narrow political self-interest will be enough.