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A fascinating read which links the collapse of oil and other commodity prices to slowing consumer demand worldwide, neoliberal economic policies, regional politics, and geopolitical intrigue. Highly recommended.

The Contrary Perspective

Julian Assange speaks from Ecuador's Embassy in London

b. traven

With oil leading the way, the drop in world commodity prices has had a a politically destabilizing effect, particularly strongly on South America’s most politically progressive  regimes, including Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador. Although oil is the most prominent of these commodities, falling mineral and agricultural products prices, like soybeans native to South America, have accentuated the economic stress.

Throughout the West fiscal austerity measures, either self-imposed by right wing government policies or imposed externally by the IMF, have served to dampen consumer spending and reduce manufacturing growth.  While China’s falling exports resulting from the weak Western demand has had a strong effect on reducing oil consumption and hence prices, it is likely that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf State oil kingdoms have refused to cut production in order to hurt Iran and to undermine the US shale oil boom.

These are big-time economic headaches for not…

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