The Financial Reaction Was Immediate
By Peter Koenig
On Saturday morning, September 14, 2019, a few drones – were they drones or long-range missiles? – hit the Saudis most important two oil fields, set them ablaze, apparently knocking out half of the Saudi crude production – but measured in terms of world production it is a mere 5%. Could be made up in no time by other Gulf oil producers – or indeed, as the Saudis said, by the end of September 2019 their production is back to ‘normal’ – to pre-attack levels.
The financial reaction was immediate. Saudi stocks fell, the oil prices rose, then settled and later fell again. It was an immediate reaction of major banks’ algorithmic speculation with about 10,000 operational hits a second. A trial for larger things to come?
The Yemeni Shiites, the Houthis, immediately claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent some ten “suicide drones” to the major Saudi oilfields and processing center. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, immediately and without a shred of evidence blamed Iran for the ‘terror attack’ – immediately more economic sanctions were imposed on Iran (Trump proudly said, the most severe ones ever put on a country), for an occurrence they had nothing to do with. – The Saudis, as if confused, held off on accusations. And as of this day, they refrain from accusing Iran. And this despite the fact that there is no love left between SA and Iran which would make blaming Iran a easy feat.
Also immediately following the attack, a high Iraqi Government official assured that the attack was launched from Iraqi soil, not from Yemen. But shortly thereafter Iraqi officials vehemently denied that they had anything to do with this attack. Yet, the launch location Iraq was “confirmed” by the leading Iraqi analyst based in the US, Entifadh Qanbar, President and Founder of the Future Foundation. The Asia Times says, he follows closely developments in his home country, and he has many associates feeding him with information that has proved more than once to be accurate. [Apparently], his information about the attack coming from Iraq is backed by prior history and by Pompeo’s clear declaration.
Here is the thing: Pompeo was never clear from where the attack was launched. He just blamed Iran. He then later, following Qanbar’s statement, joined the chorus, also saying the attack was launched from Iraq, that it was not originating from Yemen. Later the location was further defined as close to the Iranian border, from a “territory held by Iran sympathizing rebels”. No matter what, Iran remains the villain.
The Asia Times further reports,
[It] is growing more certain that the attacks on the Khurais oil fields and the Abqaig oil processing center in Saudi Arabia were launched from southern Iraq and not from Yemen by the Houthis. This was made clear by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who said: “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”
If it all sounds like a big fabricated confusion, it’s because it is a big fabricated confusion. Iran is singled out; fingers pointing to Iran (except, miraculously those of Saudi Arabia), like a sledgehammer hitting Iran, again and again. – The mainstream media loves it. Today, a week after the attack, most nobody remembers the Houthis claiming responsibility – it was Iran. Period. The media blitz won.
But let’s look at this more carefully. The Saudis have about a 70-billion-dollar annual military budget, an armada of US missile defense systems – quite a sizable budget for a country that is studded with US military bases, receives permanent US military and logistics support, technical advice and on the ground defense systems – plus bombs and missiles delivered from the US, UK and France. How come the US-UK-France backed Saudi defense was unable to detect this, albeit, sophisticated drone (missile?) attack? Some say, too sophisticated for the Houthis? – Doesn’t that raise some questions?
Who wins? – Yes, the table is turning and the Houthis are now on the winning side. And they clearly have taken strength. Yemen has lost tens of thousands of people, including thousands and thousands of children through bombs, famine and diarrheal diseases, including a massive cholera epidemic, in an unjust and unprovoked war that started in early 2015, carried out by Saudis as a proxy for the Washington and Pentagon handlers.
Many of the debris of weapons you find on the ground in Yemen say ‘Made in USA’ – which would lead you to conclude that America is at war with Yemen, not the Saudis. Yemen occupies a strategic geographic and geopolitical location and must not be ruled by a people-friendly government, let alone by a socialist leaning government, as the Houthis are. Besides, Yemen may have huge deep off-shore oil reserves.
Isn’t it logical that the Houthis hit back to defend themselves to eventually reach an end to the war and its indescribable atrocities? – Isn’t it weird that the misery and tens of thousands of Yemeni deaths in an unjust and purely criminal aggression instigated by the US, carried out by Riyadh and lasting already for more than 4 years, that this monstrous aggression pales in the mainstream media, as compared to two blazing Saudi oil fields? Doesn’t that say a lot about our programed to the core western brains, our sense of humanity, what’s left of it?
The biggest winner may be Washington. They have a new devastating blame on Iran – more sanctions, more justification to launch a direct confrontation against Iran – possibly through Israel, or the NATO forces; the “neutral” international killing machine – an amalgam of spineless Europeans and Canada, who love to dance to the tunes of Washington – hoping to get some crumbs of the loot at the end of the day, before the empires falls.
But there is more. Almost unrelated, but if you look closer the dots click and connect. And that’s where the ‘false flag’ comes in. It is indeed very possible that the attack, by drones or missiles was launched out of Iraq – either directly by US forces, or by US-trained terrorist groups.
The US has countless military bases in Iraq. A false flag, i.e. an attack at one of the major energy resources the world still uses to economically survive – hydrocarbons – will definitely enhance the planned ‘new’ economic crisis that is ‘over-due’ and has begun trickling down the melting pillars of western social infrastructure – unemployment on the rise (the real figures), to hit the western world in full swing in 2020 and counting – a financial crisis sustained by astronomical energy prices – what better scenario to shuffle more wealth from down to up, from the poor to the rich? – This attack on the Saudi oil fields may be just the beginning of more to come. Wall Street is trained in capitalizing on “crisis oil”.
In parallel with this Houthi or non-Houthi attack, according to many economists’ assessments – a crisis worse than 2008 / 2009, has indeed already been launched, as worldwide GDP growth is already slowing way beyond expectations. The year 2020 and the following years, may perhaps go down in history as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It may also be the last one under the current western fiat money system.
But how to construct the crisis? The dollar hegemony is faltering rapidly – trust in the US economy is in freefall. The smart heads of neoliberal thinking, FED, IMF, ECB, are at a loss of finding the ‘right solution’ – but yes, the principle of looting the poor for the benefit of the rich must go on. In the last ten years, enough hard and social capital has been accumulated – social welfare, pensions, health services, public education and infrastructure, social and physical – for the kleptocrats to shuffle some trillions upwards, and let the working class start from scratch again. The example Greece is a demonstration in a crystal ball. The IMF, ECB and European Commission (EC) are to be proud of their achievement.
There is confusion and uncertainty. The FED just lowered the interest rate by 0.25% down to a range of 1.75% – 2%, with Chairman Jerome Powell’s incoherent explanations, clearly under pressure from President Trump, who wants to be reelected next year – hoping to defer a major crisis. At the same token, the lead interest in other western countries, are adjusted to reflect the FED’s decision. In Switzerland, where the Swiss Franc is one of the assets of refuge in cases of crisis, the Central Bank just decided to leave interbank rates at minus 0.75%, in line with other western central banks. Listening to central bankers, there is not going to be any significant change in low or minus interest rates in the foreseeable future. An economic aberration if ever there was one!
People – bank on it! Borrow and invest at no cost like there is no tomorrow. Help building the bubble of debt – when it bursts, you know what happens – and burst it will. It’s just a matter of time.
Yet, there seems to be an indecision – indicating a major dollar crisis is looming, but nobody quite knows how ‘major’ and how it will pan out and where; quite unusual for these heads of wisdom, running the financial globe’s kingdom.
Madame Christine Lagarde, changing ship from the IMF to the ECB (European Central Bank), the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and the former New York Federal Reserve Bank chief, Bill Dudley, hinted that the United States might have to give up her dollar dominance, the backbone for her world hegemony – and let it be replaced by a kind of Special Drawing Rights (SDR), in which the dollar might still have a dominant role, but, albeit, it would no longer be seen as a untrustworthy fiat Ponzi scheme.
The decadent dollar would be hidden among the other currencies of the basket, presumably the British Pound, the Euro, the Japanese Yen and the Chinese Yuan – if the pattern of the current IMF SDR basket was to be followed. The hegemonic power of the dollar might be hidden, so that the world’s “worries” vis-à-vis the western dollar dominated economy, could be at least partially and temporarily mitigated (see Will the IMF, Federal Reserve, Negative Interest Rates and Digital Money Kill the Western Economy? https://www.
What does all that have to do with the Yemeni attack on the Saudi oil fields?
The reduction of the Saudi crude production – cut in half, though amounting only to 5% of world production – would under normal circumstances hardly affect significantly the world petrol price – unless it becomes the subject of speculation, which it obviously will, a justified “high risk” speculation. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others are experts in the matter, doing the bidding for the FED, IMF, ECB, BIS – the western instruments behind the dollar system – let it milk as much as it can, before biting the dust – letting it shuffle as much as it can from the bottom to the top, as is usual for a manufactured economic crisis. Mind you, they ALL are and have been manufactured for at least the last 100 years.
While the uncertainty about (western) global interest rates prevails – a major attack on a couple of Saudi oil fields is an ideal reason for letting oil prices skyrocket. It could make for an ideal ‘false flag’; a win-win for Washington: sustaining the manufactured economic crisis with an attack on major oil fields (maybe the first of others to come) – and – a good new reason to blame Iran – another good reason to go to war with Iran. But will the Trump Administration dare?
In today’s world, economic progress is still measured in linear GDP output which, in turn, depends largely on available (and affordable) energy. Once the hydrocarbon damage or shortage is known or predictable in term of escalating oil prices – pundits claim it could exceed the100 dollar mark, decisions on how to deal with interest rates are much easier. Combine this with ongoing trade wars, real wars in the Middle East and elsewhere, economic strangulations left and right, regime change efforts, refugee issues – you have the perfect scenario for the next crisis.
To this you may add the Soros-driven massive around-the-globe climate hype, but I mean a ferocious climate propaganda machine, the highly publicized “Greta Crowd”, the “Friday for Future” school strike movement, and more, much more, prompting a special UN Climate Conference – 23 September. As Carla Stea from Global Research pointedly asks: Has the UN become a Wall Street Asset? (https://www.globalresearch.
All of this with the specific objective of collecting enormous sums of special ‘climate taxes’, for everything that moves and that our usual climate “scientists” are connecting with global warming, or more politically correct “climate change”. There is talk about the revival of some kind of the infamous “carbon fund”. Most of day-in-day-out manipulated westerners will happily pay the extra “fee” to clear their minds of ‘guilt’ and go on with life. Never mind, that climate change is a natural phenomenon and is primarily nature-driven, as Mother Earth has done for the four billion years of her existence.
This fits well with the attacks on the Saudi oil fields – who knows, others may follow – as the destruction, or disruption of the flow of vital hydrocarbon energy resources serves the Bigger Picture – bringing about a major worldwide economic depression. And by now, we know, that every recession-depression brings more misery to the poor and makes the rich richer.
So, ‘cui bono’ – is as usual the western corporate military and financial elite. Therefore, a false flag attack on the Saudi Oil fields – of course with the Saudis in collusion, is not as far-fetched as one might believe at first glance. Last Saturday’s attack may be just the first one of a serious of misdeeds on the Middle Eastern oil industry – to drive oil prices up – a solid support to the well-prepared financial crisis.
This is first-rate economic terrorism. The dollar may survive a few years longer, while the children of Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua – you name it – will continue to be exposed to man-made misery no end. – Let’s stop this criminal western shenaniganism now! – Let’s disconnect our economies from the west, of those who are aware and awaken, and turn to the East, where the future is.
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This article was originally published on New Eastern Outlook.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.