The Humpty Dumpty Effect

Luke Burgess

Updated August 15, 2005

We all know the story of Humpty Dumpty.

Poor old Humpty was just relaxing, taking it easy on a wall one day. Maybe he was enjoying a smoke. Maybe he was checking out the lady eggs. Then all of a sudden… WHAM!! The poor schmuck falls off the wall and busts into a million pieces. No one can put him back together again. A sad story really.

That’s what’s happening with the oil balance right now.

Oil supplies are falling. When they hit the ground we’re not going to be able to put the pieces back together to meet our energy needs.

And if your long oil, you’ll be doing VERY well.

Retail gas prices hit another record high over the past three weeks.

According to the Lundberg Survey, average prices for all three grades rose nearly 20 cents to $2.53 in the three weeks ending Aug. 12.

In the same three-week period, crude oil prices rose about $8.21. That’s over 10% in 15 days

One barrel of oil produces about 42 gallons of gasoline, resulting in a price increase of 19.6 cents per gallon – nearly identical to the 19.8 cent rise in the price of gas at the pumps.

Retail prices have risen an average of 70 cents since the beginning of the year. But none of this really surprises you. Wealth Daily has been telling you about the oil crunch for quite a while.

According to the Energy Information Administration, global demand is still above global supply.

And it’s only a matter of time until the house of cards come tumbling down.

By 2006 global demand is expected to be 86 million barrels per day.

Last Thursday a leading European tanker tracker said that oil shipments by OPEC are expected to rise by 150,000 barrels a day. But that’s just a small drop in a big bucket.

I know that it’s hard to imagine now but the winter heating season is almost here. The delicate oil supply and demand balance is crashing.

And when it does, none of the king’s horses and none of the king’s men will be able to put it back together again.

Ever heard of Azerbaijan?

It’s a small country that borders Iran to the north.

Gaining its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 the Muslim country has fallen into the shadows of public familiarity.

But maybe not for long.

According to a recent report put out by the department of the Geology Institute of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences this tiny unknown country has onshore and offshore oil reserves totaling some 6 billion tons.

That translates into 44,100,000,000 barrels of oil or, at current crude prices, about $3 trillion.

Currently, there are 584 operating wells in the existing 54 onshore and offshore oil fields.

Only 37 percent of Azerbaijan has been extracted leaving oil reserves enough for another 40 years.

Just wait until Bush gets wind of this one.

-Luke Burgess

The No-Duh File: Money Can Make You Happy
Rich people are happier than the poor

Philadelphia, Aug 15 (IANS) Physical health is the best single predictor of happiness and is followed by income, education and marital status, says a study that concludes that rich people are happier than the poor.

Sociological researcher Glenn Firebaugh of the Pennsylvania State University and graduate student Laura Tach from Harvard University measured the age, total family income and general happiness of 20-to-64-year-olds using analysis from the 1972-2002 General Social Survey, reports science portal eurekAlert.

They checked for health, education, effects of getting older, race and marital status. Happiness was measured using a self-report response of ‘very happy’, ‘pretty happy’, or ‘not too happy’.

The researchers found a relative income effect — the richer you are relative to your age peers, the happier you will tend to be.

Said Firebaugh: ‘We find with and without controls for age, physical health, education and other correlates of happiness that the higher the income of others in one’s age group, the lower one’s happiness.

‘Families whose income earners are in jobs with flat income trajectories are likely to become less happy over time. Thus the relative income effect observed here implies adverse effects for some individuals over the working years of their life cycles.

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