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If you thought the executives at Goldman Sachs were the kings of backroom finance, think again.
Goldman Sachs, meet Saudi King Abdullah.
A new gambit by the oil-dealing kingdom would have Western oil guzzlers paying for using less oil. Sounds like the opposite of reality, you say? The Saudis say it's the only way they'll be able to afford helping the fight against global warming.
The New York Times frames the Saudi idea as, "if wealthy countries reduce their oil consumption to combat global warming, they should pay compensation to oil producers."
Originally posted by djon01
Want us to pay for using less oil? fine, we'll just get it somewhere else, and you can enjoy getting nothing.
Freaking greedy saudi princes. Lets see how well they do without us protecting/supporting them.
Originally posted by 4ortunate1
I think it's time for them to stop concentrating wealth in the hands of their royal family. Allow elections and use the royal money to build industries that will survive after the oil boom dries up. Why rely on the goodwill of the west to pay more than they have to for something? I wouldn't want to rely on that even if western politicans were crazy enough to agree to it.
Originally posted by Max_TO
If the oil producing nations are dumping the USD as the currency of choice then the oil producing nations will then be left with two options , either stop buying US treasury bonds , or find another way to generate money from the sale of oil , or lack there of in this case , to then in turn use to continue buying US bonds .
I can't help but believe the latter , seeing how oil sales will continue to rise as China and India become more " industrialized " . Given that , I am left wondering if this is in fact a way to make money from oil so that these oil producing nations can continue buying US bonds even if the USD is discontinued as the currency of oil .
Wether we like it or not the US economy is linked to oil and its downfall could in a lot of ways destroy the US economy .
But here's something to consider: One reason long-term interest rates are so low is that oil producers, enjoying a spike in fuel prices, raked in petrodollars and put much of their profits in U.S. Treasury bonds. Now, as oil prices fall and fuel-producing nations find more ways to invest and spend within their borders, fewer petrodollars may flow into U.S. government securities. That could put upward pressure on America's long-term interest rates. "It will be the sting in the tail," says George Magnus, senior economic adviser at UBS (UBS ) in London.
To understand how this could happen, witness how oil-producing countries have been investing their billions of petrodollar profits over the past year. When the price of a barrel jumped from $66 on the New York Mercantile Exchange this January to $75 in July, the trade surpluses of oil-producing nations jumped along with them. In 2006 their surplus is projected to eclipse that of Asia, according to the International Monetary Fund, with fuel exporters expected to generate a $505 billion surplus, vs. $462 billion from Asian nations.
Amazon Review :
The bin Ladens are famous for spawning the world's foremost terrorist and building one of the Middle East's foremost corporate dynasties.
Pulitzer Prize–winner Coll (Ghost Wars) delivers a sprawling history of the multifaceted clan, paying special attention to its two most emblematic members.
Patriarch Mohamed's eldest son, Salem, was a caricature of the self-indulgent plutocrat: a flamboyant jet-setter dependent on the Saudi monarchy, obsessed with all things motorized (he died crashing his plane after a day's joy-riding atop motorcycle and dune-buggy) and forever tormenting his entourage with off-key karaoke.
Coll presents quite a contrast with an unusually nuanced profile of Salem's half-brother Osama, a shy, austere, devout man who nonetheless shares Salem's egomania.
Other bin Ladens crowd Coll's narrative with the eye-glazing details of their murky business deals, messy divorces and ill-advised perfume lines and pop CDs.
Beneath the clutter one discerns an engrossing portrait of a family torn between tradition and modernity, conformism and self-actualization, and desperately in search of its soul.
Amazon Review :
Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 offers revealing details of the CIA's involvement in the evolution of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the years before the September 11 attacks.
From the beginning, Coll shows how the CIA's on-again, off-again engagement with Afghanistan after the end of the Soviet war left officials at Langley with inadequate resources and intelligence to appreciate the emerging power of the Taliban.
He also demonstrates how Afghanistan became a deadly playing field for international politics where Soviet, Pakistani, and U.S. agents armed and trained a succession of warring factions.
At the same time, the book, though opinionated, is not solely a critique of the agency.
Coll balances accounts of CIA failures with the success stories, like the capture of Mir Amal Kasi.
Coll, managing editor for the Washington Post, covered Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992.
He demonstrates unprecedented access to records of White House meetings and to formerly classified material, and his command of Saudi, Pakistani, and Afghani politics is impressive.
He also provides a seeming insider's perspective on personalities like George Tenet, William Casey, and anti-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke ("who seemed to wield enormous power precisely because hardly anyone knew who he was or what exactly he did for a living").
Coll manages to weave his research into a narrative that sometimes has the feel of a Tom Clancy novel yet never crosses into excess.
While comprehensive, Coll's book may be hard going for those looking for a direct account of the events leading to the 9-11 attacks.
The CIA's 1998 engagement with bin Laden as a target for capture begins a full two-thirds of the way into Ghost Wars, only after a lengthy march through developments during the Carter, Reagan, and early Clinton Presidencies.
But this is not a critique of Coll's efforts; just a warning that some stamina is required to keep up.
Ghost Wars is a complex study of intelligence operations and an invaluable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of how a small band of extremists rose to inflict incalculable damage on American soil.