24.3.03

MARSHALLIAN CROSSES. Cal Pundit discovers a proposal to use the Iraqi oil fields as the new Strategic Petroleum Reserve and then gets word that some U.S. oil producers don't mind OPEC keeping prices higher. He asks for comments from others. So far, Knowledge Problem has not, although there's a new hydrogen fuel series available. Professor Drezner has offered a couple of observations. His money point is his first point: as a conspiracy to restrain trade, OPEC has been pretty much a failure (I really blew it some 22 years ago in Detroit ... should have predicted ON TV that President Reagan's elimination of price controls on domestic oil would have led to cheaper gasoline ... but I'm digressing.) Furthermore, the OPEC enforcer most likely to leave a camel's head, so to speak, in the bed of a price cutter, is either queuing for 72 olives, or relying on the good offices of Russian brain surgery (etagi parketny, vrachi anketniye or something like that) or about ready to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Thus world prices are likely to be close to competitive prices already, and sales of crude at prices below world prices would not be profitable to the occupiers of Iraq. (John D. Rockefeller himself understood that point.)

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