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1 freetoken  Jan 3, 2011 7:38:54pm

The reason oil prices are so sensitive to what happens in the USSR (and now collectively the states that formerly made up that conglomeration) is because it was/is/are the leading oil producers in the world.

Not Saudi Arabia. Russia.

Many Americans don’t realize this and are surprised at how important Russia is to oil, and oil to Russia.

2 jaunte  Jan 3, 2011 7:43:15pm

The Russians should be careful.
The Devil’s Excrement
Ten years from now, 20 years from now, you will see,” former Venezuelan Oil Minister and OPEC co-founder Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo predicted in the 1970s, “oil will bring us ruin.” It was an oddball statement at a time when oil was bringing Venezuela unprecedented wealth—the government’s 1973 revenues were larger than all previous years combined, raising hopes that black gold would catapult Venezuela straight to First World status. But Perez Alfonzo had a different name for oil: “the devil’s excrement.”

Today he seems a prophet. When it hit the jackpot, Venezuela had a functioning democracy and the highest per-capita income on the continent. Now it has a state of near-civil war and a per-capita income lower than its 1960 level.

3 freetoken  Jan 3, 2011 7:51:26pm

re: #2 jaunte

Another victim of the “resource curse”?

4 jaunte  Jan 3, 2011 8:07:24pm

re: #3 freetoken

They’re probably diversified enough to do better than the other examples we have, but it’s a risk.

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