The Stumble

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

I took a class in world history from 1815. Our first exercise was to figure out why 1815? The answer was the end of Napoleon Bonaparte. That event changed everything. Monarchies could sleep safely in their beds and mercantilism could rise and give birth to the industrial revolution.

1929 was a such an event, considered the beginning of the Great Depression it was also the end of a series of stumbles and misfortunes. World War 1, the Spanish flu and a bungled peace all came to the funeral of 1929. Catastrophes always seemed to be a series of events rather than one. An out of round rocket booster on a cold day or sailing top speed through an ice field in the dark of night. War and Reparations from the treaty of Versailles destabilized European banking. Always ready to lend a helping hand American Bankers moved in flush with war profits and expanded credit at home.

The world had had difficult time and wanted to party. Come on ma, let’s buy us a radio! It’s only three dollars a month! Automobiles were the internet bubble of their day. Skies were blue the world was at peace and the market was booming or as Trump would say…I did that. But the seeds of destruction were sown and just needed seasoning to make it boil. Expanded credit and unregulated speculation all worked so well until the dice have stopped rolling and you’ve crapped out. Growth based on credit and when the credit ran out so did the growth. Based on continual expansion the economy choked on its own vomit.

We witness the erosion daily of Republican credibility with a Comic-con Commander in Chief and his born-again Robin and a Senate in the Isle of Doctor Maru. What began as the Reagan Revolution ends as the Trump rump. All the energy is spent leaving behind only waste product to fertilize the roses. The paralysis and the rot are palpable worried about polling data while Riyadh burns. The idiot oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has reached its inevitable end. West Texas crude was selling for $11.00 per barrel. The empty barrel sells for $20.00. The Comic con Commander waited four weeks to say, come on fellas. Let’s be reasonable here instead of breaking up the bar fight.

Storage is nearly full which means storage costs rise for product nobody wants. You can’t just turn off an oilfield and with diminished demand the price collapse feeds on itself. These bell weathers are how we plan and estimate costs. Imagine, if an ounce of gold were suddenly ten dollars. What that would do to the world economy? Oil companies borrow money based on their reserves of oil in the ground. Those reserves just lost ninety percent of their value. For the oil companies it is 1929, for the banks it is hitting the iceberg leaving a gaping hole in the side of the S.S. Capitalism.

Up until recently, oil companies’ stocks had been primo. Sure winners get em while they are hot. You can’t survive for long losing ninety percent of your value. The Trump touted American oil boom is over. At $11.00 per barrel nobody makes money, nobody. A worldwide economic bell weather flat on its ass and Trumpo is worried about cruise ships. But, but, but the economy is coming right back! “On the good ship lollipop, it’s a great trip to a candy shop where bon bons play on the sunny shores of peppermint bay.”

These events are the stumble, a pandemic rips a hole in the economy. Unemployment causes consumer and commercial credit defaults. This is a new world we are in. Napoleon is gone and so is the Kaiser and the world will never be the same again. Like after World War 1 an international realignment is taking place. After the second World War, the victorious nations over saw the realignment this time shall we say the office of the President is diminished. If the Asia Pacific countries find themselves in financial straits, who will they ask for help the US or China?

Trump has made noise about China reimbursing the US for Covid costs. Even some sane countries like Germany have made similar remarks. Okay, children we are not only not working together, we’re pointing fingers at each other snipping about money you’re never going to collect. How far shall we take it? I got sick at your birthday party and missed three weeks of work…pay me dude!

Because of US diminishment Germany is stronger, Russia is stronger, and China is stronger. Donald Trump and Angela Merkle are going to have a pissing contest with China AND bring back the economy. At the close of business today the oil companies will pay you to take this glut off their hands. The oil we once fought wars for is now practically worthless.

This time we are in is historic, the end of OPEC. The end of oil as an economic bell weather. The end of the United States as the leading global power.

Instability akin to the death of Archduke Ferdinand, pointing fingers and generating invoices teetering towards the Abyss. The orange ape is looking for scapegoats and running with the flag like running with scissors. Turning a healthcare crisis into a political crisis sabre rattling from a position of weakness.

This is the stumble, the point where it all went downhill. The dark tunnel of 1932 where no one knows the outcome. An orange ape swinging on his tire swing willing to throw the whole world under the bus to preserve his ego. There is no historical equivalent to position we find ourselves in. A pandemic, and economic crisis exacerbated by the collapse of oil. Trumpo the amazing ape boy in the White House and a rump Congress. This is stumble, not the fall the end of the beginning. Mark your calendars for the next decade.

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