Vladimir Putin: The Reverse Obama

In many ways Vladimir Putin is the Reverse Obama. Where Obama has campaigned on alternative energy, and has sought (stupidly) to make gas and energy prices higher, to his domestic disaster, Putin depends on high gasoline and oil prices. The recent Financial Times report shows that Putin can only survive with high oil prices, with a zero account surplus as early as the end of the year if oil prices decline to $110 a barrel. Read the whole thing. The take-away is:

  1. Russia is not attracting capital, it is leaking it to the tune of $84 billion in 2011, 5% of GDP.
  2. Russians are spending a lot on import, to make up for Soviet and Post-Soviet deprivation.
  3. Excluding petroleum exports, Russia exports nothing of value and remains a hostile place for foreign investors.
  4. To gain support, Putin has pressed for an additional $171 billion in wage increases for workers.

Of course, there are off the books expenses for thugs and goons, the patronage network, and the current account surplus is shrinking from 5.5 per cent of GDP down to about zero, fairly rapidly. If oil stays at $100 a barrel, the IMF predicts Russia will have a current account deficit by 2016.

Do the math. Putin cannot afford cheap oil. His support for Iran now makes perfect sense. Putin may be many things, but stupid about his own survival is not one of them. He rose up in the “fail and get shot” KGB, Obama smoked dope and survived as an Affirmative Action hire and retread in NYC, and then the Chicago political machine.

Obama is who he is. He will keep on dreaming Green Dreams of windmills and solar panels and recycling farts, until he’s dragged out of office. That is what he knows. Putin is who he is. He knows jump-starting Iran into armed conflict with the US, and with Russian backing, will allow him nearly risk-free (because Obama is weak and cowardly when confronting America’s enemies, as opposed to its plumbers, police, and Mestizo gun owners) to pump oil for years above $150, maybe even $200. Iran is aggressive and confident they can close the Gulf because they know they’ll have Russia’s backing, and Obama will not do anything but fold against Putin.

Expect action soon, Putin knows his best chance is before a Republican take-over, as any of the current Republican candidates will be eager to rebuild the Navy and take the Gulf by force. Fill up your tank now.

About whiskeysplace

Conservative blogger focusing on culture, business, technology, and how they intersect.
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9 Responses to Vladimir Putin: The Reverse Obama

  1. So if I’m to read this correctly, the solution is to drop some bombs on Iran and then magically watch oil prices go down…

  2. whiskey says:

    Nope, no magic solutions. But Putin needing sky-high oil prices and teaming up with Iran was utterly predictable. The time to do something about it was the early 2000’s. Hey maybe if we had a massive base in a country NEXT to Iran we could stage attacks and keep oil flowing from THAT country!

    All that nice stuff and social peace that cheap oil brings does not come by magic. Chinese demand is not going away. Nor is Iran going to become a nice pussycat if they go nuclear. Imagine the West at oil at $200 a barrel. The modern, Western world runs on oil. All the talk about algae and windmills won’t change that.

  3. Hey maybe if we had a massive base in a country NEXT to Iran we could stage attacks and keep oil flowing from THAT country!

    Except wouldn’t perpetually attacking Iran just lead to higher prices in the first place? If anything, wussy airstrikes just means that we’ve reaffirmed why Iran needs a bomb, and it can give them a reason to stop selling their petroleum to the West and leaving higher oil prices for everybody. If you want to stop Iran from having a bomb without raising oil prices, then you’ll need magic. Air strikes or a full-blown invasion will have some type of blow back, and it’s rather immature to think that nothing will happen if we do engage with them.

    • whiskey says:

      There is no engagement to be had. Iran is pretty clear, they want the bomb. To make an example out of Israel and dominate the Gulf. Because they too want high oil prices, they are even worse off than Putin is. Ahmadinejad is in a struggle with the Clerics and elements of the Revolutionary Guard, over his failure to deliver the goodies. Neither Ahamdinejad nor his rivals are interested in any “deal” that the West and particularly the US can live with. They have to have oil at around $150 a barrel at least, just to pay off their goons. Their comfort level is probably around $200.

      Why do you think they want the bomb? To dominate the Gulf and reduce particularly Saudi oil production.

      This is like the run-up to WWII. It was abundantly clear with the re-armament of the Rhineland that Hitler wanted war. The only question was, would the Allies fight with the Czechs, Poles, and possibly Mussolini and Stalin (both were interested as rivals with Germany traditionally in a deal up to 1936 when Allied weakness made it a non-starter). Or alone, just Britain and France? Like Hamlet the Allies found dithering costly.

      We will get war with Iran eventually. If they get nukes they’ll close the Gulf and that’s war. Or get our own if we can’t support suburbia. Cheap gas enables middle and working class Whites to stay as far away as possible from the sort of people who shoot 9 month old babies over a fight about seating at a baby shower.

      Ugly reality: cheap oil buys social peace. America depends on it. That cheap oil depends on US military dominance which is gone in the Gulf if Iran nukes up.

  4. fascistbrah says:

    I was wondering why Russian troops were in Syria keeping the peace. Syria is a friend of Iran and semi hostile to Israel. Israel would like to see a regime change in Syria and Russia would like for Syria and Iran to provoke hostility with Israel.

    Thanks for the info, Whiskey. I did not know Putin’s relationship with Oil prices.

    I have no idea why Russia isn’t producing more stuff. It’s a massive country with massive natural resources.

  5. culturaldissent says:

    “I have no idea why Russia isn’t producing more stuff. It’s a massive country with massive natural resources.”
    I think a hint is that Russia never really had an industrial revolution of its own, sans Marxism/Leninism/Stalinism. During and post-Lenin, when the Ukraine had its great famines thanks to Communists swooping in and stealing what they were producing, their agricultural output was already pitiful due to their lack of modern techniques and technology. How much did they rely on slave labor and brutal statism to run their space program and their education system, which had to compete with the west?

    The U.S. sent loads of grain to Soviet Russia from what I remember. They probably have a lot of recovery and buildup to do before they’re even on a level playing field. It’s similar with Foxconn and China. Every liberal was quick to jump on the bandwagon to claim exploitation of the Chinese after totally ignoring how much worse their agricultural work was. Maybe I’ll have a different point of view after I learn more about Russia, but it really seems like it has isolated pockets of high technology surrounded by barren wastelands of the worst poverty in some of the worst climate conditions in the world.

  6. dana says:

    where the fuck are you on trayvon martin/george zimmerman?

  7. Mike says:

    It certainly puts into perspective why Russia has an interest in propping up rogue regimes and stirring up chaos internationally. Russia needs high tension in the mid east to keep oil prices up. Meanwhile we pretend that stability is in both of our interests.

  8. Pingback: Obama Sells Out America: What’s the Deal With Putin? | whiskeysplace

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