Like a double helix of ADN and ARN oil and gas prices are now coupled in an organic upward spiral. Powering this we have the good old-fashioned greed-and-fear hysteria that drives any speculative bubble; rationality and logic are neither needed nor welcome aboard. Especially with gold, Keynes's famous 'barbarous relic', its price measures changes in geopolitical stability, which for the USA means that when US reach and power is menaced and the dollar slips, the gold price grows.
With oil more rational factors are allowed a peek in, to push oil prices higher and drag up gol prices with them. We are nowhere near the end of winter in the North Hemisphere, oil production growth is so weak and hesitant nice people don't talk about it, and world demand growth driven by bouncing economic growth in oil hungry China and India, and oil saturated USA will surely bring "surprise revisions" of world demand growth. This is currently placed at the ridiculous low figure of 1.89 Mbd for year 2005 by the IEA, always anxious to keep down prices through always underestimating growth.
Think Tank Solutions
The heating fuel tanks are getting low but Washington super hawk intellectuals hunkered down in their Think Tank bunkers are brimful with old ideas. They babble loud and strong for G W Bush to hear that not only democracy and liberation, but also increased oil exports, and future gas exports will surely and certainly flow from across-the-board Middle East Ray-Jeem Change. In other words regional war.
It is no good pointing to Iraq. To the bunker boys this was a great attempt to bring hope to the Middle East and pump out more oil from obedient, even servile new Oil Republics installed on the ashes of previous systems. The Iraq experiment, the Washington firebrands go on, was sabotaged by insufficient firepower due to left wing intellectuals like Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder (now a Putin employee), and by Iraqi civilians getting in the way of free firing, heroic US soldiers. They chant in unison that Bush and the Free World, now called the International Community must go forward and further. Iran and Syria are the new and urgent natural targets for quick mutation into obedient Oil Republics modeled on the Washington folk myth of servile Banana Republics that invading US marines so successfully created in Latin America, circa 1925.
The Real World
The puppet regime set up in Oil Republic Iraq, circa 2005, has a life expectancy of weeks or months anytime the US pulls out its troops. Civil war will be certain, and during civil wars the belligerents are not too interested in oil pumping performance beyond that needed to pay for weapons. The Bush boys can then toast a real miracle: change Iraq, with the world's second or third largest remaining oil reserves into a zero exporter and make the US taxpayer pay 2000 Billion dollars, according to Joseph Stiglitz, doing this. The coming Iraq civil war will tear this artificial country into 3 warring parts and will likely kill even more persons and cause even more human human misery than Saddam Hussein's tyrannical excesses. Bravo!
Syria and Iran are now natural targets for Ray-Jeem Change, and more especially Iran because of its quite large oil reserves and very large gas reserves. What counts for the Washington superhawks is that Iran with real atomic weapons is almost as dangerous as Iraq with fake WMD of the type the great statesman and liar Co-Lin Powell liked to flash photos around at the UN Security Council. Later on he freely admitted he was "badly advised", the photos were tacky fakes, but real useful for launching a war that has killed 40,000 Iraqi civilians so far, and devastated their economy and society. Soon we will have all-day news showing Iranian nuclear installations.
The Man of Peace
World media, and of course Fox News is camped out in front of Ariel Sharon's hospital in a bizarre remake of the necrophiliac news circus surrounding the public agony and death ritual of John-Paul 2. In his war killer Rambo days Ariel Sharon, then called Arik Scheinemann, thought nothing of slaughtering all unarmed inhabitants of a Palestinian village during the night, with his 101st Commando. Such is courage.
Today, with his right-hand man Olmert taking the reins from this Man of Peace the Sharon plan for Israel can go ahead: an ethnically cleansed all-Jewish state snugly ensconced behind The Wall, with inferior races pushed out and beyond this cozy cocoon. This is what the so-called International Community calls "the Middle East's only real democracy"! It has atomic weapons, too. Whether or not the miracles of hi-tech neurosurgery allow Sharon to become The National Vegetable decorating Kadima wingdings and election rallies is not important: Sharon above all wants Iran to be taken out and bombed, and the Bush Gang has heard the message. To him, Tay-Ran Ray-Jeem change is every bit as vital as bombing Damascus and triggering an ugly remake of the 1982-1990 civil war inside Lebanon, the Israeli invasion in 1982 being yet another heroic act of the Man of Peace.
The Double Signals
We are now counting down to Syria regime change. Bush is not the only player who has worked miracles in the Middle East - Bash Al-Assad has done the same through reconciling Bush and Chirac, this being sealed by UN Security Council Resolution 1559, already a map for regime changing Syria. With Abdul Halim Khaddam standing in as a handy replacement for Rafic Hariri as Man of the Moment, and the leader to put in charge of "liberated" Lebanon, all will be in place for Paris and Washington to recycle the fragile base of wealth built up in Lebanon since 1990, augmented since 2002-2003 with Saudi and Emirati petrodollars. The cream on the cherry pie might come in the shape of Syrian Kurdistan perhaps being tweaked for an extra 0.5 Mbd of oil supply.
If any sane person does not see these real world events, factors and trends as clear and strong signals to go out and buy oil and gold futures, then that person should see their psychiatrist. Regarding oil, Matt Simmons tells us the price can go to 250 USD-per-barrel, but he doesn't exactly say when. Looking at the current countdown to a dramatic extension of Bush's war in the Middle East we can conclude that oil can go to 75 USD-per-barrel, and gold to 650 USD-per-ounce within weeks of today's date. After that, we will see.