Michael Lynch Contributor
I analyze petroleum economics and energy policy.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
The Conspiracy Behind The Oil Price Collapse (Satire)
A host of conspiracies have been touted to explain 2014s oil price drop, from the US desire to hurt Russia, to the Saudis attack on US shale producers, not to mention both countriesf antagonism to Iran. Some have even suggested it was aimed at blocking a gas pipeline from Iran to Europe, and one pundit suggested that he was responsible: traders listened to him, and shorted oil.
So, ignoring the usual suspects like the Freemasons, the Bavarian Illuminati, the Jesuits, communists, capitalists, speculators and so forth, allow me to put forth some alternative concepts. Any or all of the following seem as likely to be culprits as some of the more mundane theories.
Naturally, FoxNews must be playing a role here. But why would they want low oil prices now? With the 2016 election coming up, they realize that a booming economy would improve the chances of Hilary Clintonfs election, and having her become president would be the biggest boost to their ratings, a development rather like the way Dan Quaylefs nomination made the nationfs comedians wet their pants.
And think of a company which proved its long reach and influence last year. Yes, thatfs right, Lego. Who else could convince Hollywood to make a movie starring its only product? Which is made of plastic, derived from, you guessed it, petroleum. Coincidence?
In 2009, Jeff Rubin explained that peak oil would make our world a lot smaller, with scarce supplies and higher prices ending the practice of shipping food long distances. Say goodbye to your fresh salmon, he warned. Well, thatfs a pretty strong clue, but even more, there are rumors that Saudi Oil Minister Naimi, visiting Venezuela, was served orange-glazed salmon. And the chef was reported to have wavy brown hair, just like a senior official in the Pacific salmon industry. What are the odds? Could it be that Naimi was served undercooked fish in an effort to render his mood uncooperative?
Vladimir Putin makes a great target of any theory, since he is the only world leader who has what could actually be called minions. But, you protest, Russia is suffering from low oil prices, why would Putin have caused this? Well, considering how Machiavellian thinking he is, conceivably he hopes that economic troubles will increase political unrest, enabling him to identify his opponents more easily.
And could it be that environmentalists have been seeking to lower oil prices in order to encourage the consumption of fossil fuels? Counter-intuitive, yes, but illogical, maybe not. Think how many environmentalists you know who would love to see the planet roast, sacrificing us all just so they could say gI told you soh.
Alternatively, maybe our underground reptilian overlords have decided the time has come to raise global temperatures enough for them to emerge from their lairs. They might have taught US oil men and women how to fracture shale so as to extract petroleum cheaply, anticipating a surge in greenhouse gases and temperatures as a result.
And of course, the real truth: Richard Branson caused the oil price to crash in an effort to hurt Elon Muskfs electric vehicle business, so as to reduce his cash available for Space-X, a competitor with his Virgin Galactic enterprise. Why is this so obvious? Common, look at Branson: does anyone look more like a Bond villain?