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If the world could vote: Obama or McCain 28, October 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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Here is a link to a fantastic interactive map over at Foreign Policy which shows how the rest of the world would vote in the US elections if they could. It’s got to be said that it doesn’t look so good for McCain…

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The oil roller coaster continues 28, October 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Oil.
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It is a joy to see (from a Western perspective) the price of oil falling through the floor. The FT reported recently that US consumers had been spending up to 4% of their income on fuel – around $440 billion. However, now that oil prices have fallen to roughly half of what they were but a few months ago, you don’t need to be a financial wizard to see that savings in the region of $200 billion are in the offing.

On the other side of this there are the oil producers. Smug as well as inordinately and unexpectedly rich for so long off the back of soaring prices, it is hard not to feel sizable waves of schadenfreude crashing down on their disconsolate leaders. The picture is, however, by no means universal. The surprisingly prudent Saudis apparently predicated their budgetary plans on the price of oil at around $50 per barrel. This, coupled with incredible levels of liquidity, means that the Saudis will not suffer greatly from this decrease, barring any unexpected crashes. The less conservative Venezuela and Iran, however, bet that oil would remain somewhere around $95. This, therefore, leaves an impressive hole in the midst of their financial plans. Russia too, according to the same FT article, could be in for a rough ride, after expecting prices of $70 per barrel.