My No. 1 Cure For Depression — CNN

Have you been in a dark mood, feeling sad, listless and depressed about such things as oil spills, the war in Afghanistan or the economy? If so, I have the perfect prescription for you — watch CNN.

It turns out that the causes of depression are many and varied and include independent thought as well as accessing information from outside the mainstream. Fortunately I have found that watching network news, especially news from CNN, one to two hours a day can do wonders to clear up depression.

You see CNN is like a soothing ointment for a troubled soul. It’s the network that provides promises of a better tomorrow while proclaiming that things could be far worse. Once you see video from places like Haiti and Pakistan you understand that it is those countries that have something to be depressed about.

How CNN Helped Cure My Depression
But CNN does more than just show how bad things are elsewhere. It also tells us how much better things are becoming here.

Take the oil spill for example. Earlier this summer I was depressed over the fact that BP had leaked some 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. There were a lot of dire predictions for the environment and for the economy in the region. But just a few weeks ago White House energy adviser Carol Browner went on CNN to say that a new assessment found that about 75 percent of the oil has been captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down in the Gulf. Voila; problem solved. Thanks CNN!

And that’s not all. This month CNN broadcast a photograph of a smiling President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha taking a dip in the Gulf waters off Alligator Point in Panama City Beach, Fla. CNN admits it wasn’t present for the swim, but says the photo conveys the message that the White House wants to send: The Gulf Coast is repaired and open for business.

I had to force from my mind the image of the movie Jaws when Mayor Larry Vaughn orders his assistant into the water to impress upon the town folks just how safe things are. Fortunately I was able to eradicate these negative thoughts.

Mission Accomplished… Again!
Watching CNN can make you feel better about a great many things. For example the war in Iraq has caused me a lot of anxiety over the past eight years. When I was writing Outstanding Investments I got in a lot of hot water with my readers and one of my editors for opposing that war and calling it unwinnable. It turns out that I was wrong: Twice in fact.

The first time was in May 2003 when CNN and the other networks carried President George W. Bush’s victory speech from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Above the President was a giant banner titled, “Mission Accomplished.”

The second time was just this month when Obama gave a television address declaring victory in Iraq and announced that troops there will begin to withdraw next year. According to CNN, “The military is continuing its drawdown ahead of Obama’s Aug. 31 deadline for ending all combat operations and keeping a residual force of 50,000 with a mission limited to stability operations and advising and assisting Iraqi security forces.” (Emphasis added)

And the “world’s leader in news” had more good news, reporting that Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh had said while the Iraqi Army might not be fully ready to handle security by the end of 2011, that does not mean the alternative means keeping U.S. troops longer. Neither al-Dabbagh nor CNN said what that alternative is so I can only conclude that my parents were wrong; you can have your cake and eat it too.

Blue Skies Ahead
With my fears about the Gulf Coast and Iraq having been eased I have only a few other concerns, such as the direction of the economy and global warming.

But here again CNN helped. They were on hand last week when Obama touted his administration’s clean energy initiatives, saying tax credits and loans would help create 800,000 jobs by 2012.

CNN showed the President after he toured the ZBB Energy Corporation plant in Menomonee Falls, Wis. It was CNN carrying Obama’s speech telling workers that their jobs manufacturing renewable batteries and power systems were part of a necessary transition of the U.S. economy.

“We can’t turn back. We’ve got to keep going forward,” Obama said to resounding applause caught on CNN microphones. Then we got to hear more from the President: “You’re pointing us in the right direction. And I am confident about our future because of what I have seen at this plant.”

The company is using a $1.3 million Recovery Act State Energy Program loan to help fund a $4.5 million factory renovation. Obama said the renovation is expected to result in the hiring of 80 new workers and triple the capacity of the manufacturer’s renewable power and storage systems.

CNN delivered Obama’s message that the American workers are resilient enough to emerge stronger than ever from a decade-long manufacturing decline and an economic recession. Not only that, we are going to get a cleaner, greener world to boot.

Now I know CNN may be hard medicine for some of you to swallow. Furthermore I don’t want you to just take my word that CNN will not only make you feel better. The Aug. 10 editorial page of The Boston Globe told CNN’s critics to “back off” and called the network, “the best hope for a revival of traditional news values on cable.”

The Globe also said that Fox News and MSNBC can’t be trusted because of their partisan leanings:

CNN’s rivals, Fox and MSNBC, have chosen to preach to the converted, fueling a culture of outrage and denunciation. Their effects on American political dialogue have been widely noted, and widely condemned.”

The Globe even gave the thumbs-up to Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker, who are replacing Campbell Brown’s evening news program, pointing out that the two would make a very good pair: “Another Crossfire this won’t be: Spitzer and Parker will probably be unpredictable and sometimes contrarian.”

One can only hope that on this last point The Globe is wrong. For if CNN becomes unpredictable and heaven forbid, contrarian, it will no longer assuage my fears and worries. Things are so bad I would hate to start having to deal with the truth.

Before I sign off I need to leave you with a warning. If you do decide to begin a daily regimen of CNN you will have to closely monitor your level of viewing. For example, people who watch more than an hour a day of Anderson Cooper 360 can experience sudden mood changes, the most common of which is feelings of self-righteousness.

And never exceed more than three hours viewing in a 24-hour time period as this can lead to psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia, in which the logic center in your brain tells you that things are a mess but the cerebral cortex insists that things are not only fine but getting better all the time.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Sowing The Seeds Of Starvation

“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”
—Joseph Stalin

This summer’s searing heat has put a fire beneath grain prices. But worse than another round of inflation is the potential for widespread famine, particularly in the former Soviet Union, which has been beset by the worst heat wave in 130 years.

The Ukraine is no stranger to starvation. The Terror-Famine struck the Ukraine in 1932-33 when as many as 10 million starved. It should come as little surprise that Joseph Stalin was the architect of that tragedy.

In the 1920s, Lenin proved his political savvy and made concessions to the peasantry. This led to The New Economic Policy (NEP) and a rethinking by the Kremlin.

That all ended when Stalin suspended concessions and the NEP. He even unleashed his secret police (NKVD, which became the KGB) targeting capitalists and squeezing greater food production from the suffering peasants. In the 1930s, when quotas could not be met in the face of drought, the NKVD ruthlessly robbed Ukraine of its wheat and packed the grain back to Russia.

Eight decades later the drought has returned and so have Communist ideals. Again Ukraine is facing a devastating crisis which could send grain prices much higher and upset the peace in Eastern Europe.

Reuter’s reports that the ex-Soviet Union is likely to see grain production slashed this year with Ukraine’s production falling as much as 15 percent. With a prolonged heat wave sending temperatures above 100 degrees, 27 regions have declared a state of emergency due to drought which is estimated to have destroyed 11 million hectares of crops, an area equal in size to Hungary or about one fifth of the total sown area.

Meanwhile, hundreds of forest fires rage across Russia, choking residents of Moscow. There appears no end in sight for what is being called the worst heat wave to hit Russia in its recorded history. It is wreaking havoc on one of the world’s largest breadbaskets.

A Bitter Harvest
Russia’s agricultural analysts have predicted that the nation’s grain harvest may fall as low as 65 million tonnes this year, down from 97 million tonnes in 2009. The grain agency SovEcon has also estimated that the wheat crop may decline by a whopping 44 million tonnes this year from 61.7 million in 2009. That is 4 million tonnes less than was projected a few weeks ago and the final harvest may be even lower.

The Kremlin has taken steps to bolster the security of its 9.5 million tonnes of grain stockpiles. The government is also putting as much grain aside as it can while admitting that, “the Russian grain market is becoming an acute crisis because of wildfires and drought.”

Russia has even enacted a ban on grain and flour exports for the rest of the year and perhaps longer. The Kremlin is worried domestic consumption may surpass 75 million tonnes, or 10 million tonnes more than this fall’s harvest. Fortunately, the country has 21.5 million tonnes in reserves but this stockpile will be depleted quickly if crops continue to roast in the field.

Ukraine‘s Tortured History
But even as Moscow grows more nervous each day over the upcoming harvest, its puppet state, Ukraine, is embracing the Bear in the face of servitude and perhaps even starvation. The recently elected pro-Russian, pro-Communist government in Ukraine is even rewriting history with its recent proclamation that the Terror-Famine was a tragedy the Soviet Union attempted to stop.

One of Ukraine’s top bureaucrats—Valery Soldatenko—has boasted of being a “proud Communist.” Comrade Soldatenko is not only oblivious to the oxymoron but went so far as to tell Radio Free Europe’s Ukrainian Service that he never surrendered his Communist Party membership card. “I share the Communist ideas of social and national justice, social and national equality,” he said.

Soldatenko is even a Stalin apologist. As a new director of Ukraine’s National Memory Institute (which must have no memory at all), Soldatenko believes that Joseph Stalin did everything he could to lessen the effects of the famine. Soldatenko went so far as to say that the Terror-Famine was not initiated by Stalin, but was, “The result of difficult circumstances.”

It is shocking that with starvation blowing in the wind Ukraine’s new President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia’s Prime Minster Vladimir Putin are almost nostalgic for Communist rule.

The Resurrection Of Stalin         
Last May there was a rally in opposition to Prime Minister Putin with protestors shouting slogans comparing the Prime Minister to Joseph Stalin.

"Putin is Stalin! Putin is Brezhnev! Russia without Putin," chanted the crowd. One activist held a big caricature picture of Putin kissing Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Police quickly ripped it down. In another demonstration hundreds unfurled a giant Russian flag and waved signs demanding fair elections as lines of riot police watched.

Opponents such as these say Putin has censored freedom of the press and eliminated democratic rights when he was President. Now that he has permanently installed himself as Prime Minister they fear that the nation is on the road to ruin and repression.

According to renowned Russian chess grand master Garry Kasparov, “The economy is sinking, the politicians do not allow any opposition into parliament; Putin’s state control is all encompassing.”

But the opposition is the minority to Putin and his iron fist. During the last May Day celebrations Reuter’s reported that thousands of Communists, trade union activists, nationalists and black-clad anti-fascists came out in support of Putin.

Russia’s Communist Party is Russia’s second biggest political party. In the past year thousands have marched under bright red banners that hold portraits of Stalin. Late last year Stalin was voted Russia’s third most popular historical figure ever. Meanwhile, a Moscow train station has restored a phrase on a billboard praising Stalin.

Putin himself has even gone so far as to praise Stalin. “It is impossible to make a general judgment. It is evident that, from 1924 to 1953, the country that Stalin ruled changed from an agrarian to an industrial society,” said the Russian Prime Minster last December. Putin went on to praise Stalin’s leadership in winning World War II.

The question: Will Putin emulate Stalin? The test of that may come this fall as sweltering heat burns the crops in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The Big Three are among the largest exporters of wheat in the world. They provide essential food stuffs to the Middle East and North Africa and to millions of their own citizens; people who could face mass starvation if Russia staggers back to the Dark Ages that was Stalin.

Outlook
Wheat prices hit $7.24 per bushel last week, a 70 percent increase since the June lows. That is the biggest one-month jump in three decades; bigger than the food crisis of 2008 when wheat prices reached $13 per bushel.

The result of that crisis was rioting in Bangladesh, Egypt and elsewhere. This crisis could be potentially worse. And we all know that higher grain prices mean more inflation and a weaker U.S. dollar.

Wheat Prices Soar

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., (NYSE:POT, $109) sells fertilizers and related industrial and feed products worldwide. The company also produces nitrogen fertilizers plus nitrogen feed and industrial products, including ammonia and urea.

PotashCorp also has the mineral rights to more than 800,000 acres in Canada. Prices of this stock are up strongly as investors assume that drought will lead to greater planting and rising demand for fertilizers.

PotashCorp’s stock price has rallied strongly since the deflationary panic in the summer of 2008. I believe the continued bailout process ongoing in Washington as well as soaring demand for grains worldwide will continue to push up the stock price of PotashCorp.

Action To Take
Call your stock broker and buy Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT, $140) at market.

Yours for wealth and health,

John Myers
Myers Energy and Gold Report

Pitfalls And Profits In The Wake Of The BP Spill

“I think we should expand domestic exploration. My chances of doing that now are zero because of the oil spill.” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

The climate is changing. I am not talking about the record heat wave in the Northeast but rather the political climate in Washington, D.C., where the Greens are just beginning to capitalize on the Gulf Coast oil spill crisis.

The well that rests below the spot BP’s Deepwater Horizon once stood has spewed out almost 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. That makes the BP oil spill the biggest ever, surpassing the Ixtoc I rig that gushed 3.3 million barrels into Mexico’s Bay of Campeche in 1979. For the environmentalists, the Gulf crisis is a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-shape Federal policies.

President Barack Obama has used the spill as a call to arms for clean energy. And he has put a freeze on new deepwater drilling; the result of which has nearly halted exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, including shallow water projects.

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources reports that approved shallow water drilling permits in the Gulf have dropped significantly since the Federal moratorium was instituted. In fact, only four shallow-water permits have been issued since the Obama administration blocked deepwater drilling following the accident four months ago. Just four permits have been granted from May through July and those were for wells less than 500 feet deep. That compares to an average of 14 permits issued per month for the year before the moratorium.

The Obama administration is not going to let a little thing like the courts get in the way of its Green objectives. After a ruling against the six-month moratorium, the Obama administration issued a second ban on July 12 which won’t expire until December.

The oil industry is saying that Obama’s “keen to be Green” policies could eradicate hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Gulf and will start a mass exodus of rigs out of the region.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has said the drilling ban only adds insult to an area already injured.

“New requirements for shallow-water drilling are causing permitting delays that could lead to significant additional economic impacts on top of those caused by the deepwater drilling moratorium,” Jindal said.

The Governor is worried about Louisiana’s economy, but a more pressing worry for Americans could soon be the price of gasoline. That is because the Gulf of Mexico supplies nearly 30 percent of United States domestic oil and gas production. As wells in the Gulf age and are not replaced, the U.S. will experience an accelerated decline in petroleum production. This is bad news for a nation which has already seen its energy output fall steeply. The U.S. is producing less than 5 million barrels of oil per day, the lowest production levels in 60 years

You may recall the dire warnings from President Jimmy Carter’s sweater clad Oval Office chats. It is worth noting that back then the U.S. was pumping almost twice the amount of oil as is being produced today. That Democratic President fussed that the nation wasn’t producing enough oil.

Decades later and with billions of barrels in reserves spent, President Obama is preoccupied with how to limit U.S. oil and gas exploration. This despite the fact that the U.S. is importing 13 million barrels of oil per day. That is almost 60 percent of U.S. oil consumption and it costs America $300 billion per year. That is just the fixed cost which will only increase as the price of petroleum rises.

Then there are additional costs. The U.S. military spends an estimated $100 billion a year to protect the flow of oil out of the Middle East. With higher crude prices the U.S. could soon be spending half a trillion dollars per year on imported oil. And that doesn’t account for two Middle East wars this past decade which have cost a trillion dollars and counting.

Furthermore, America’s involvement in the Middle East appears to only be deepening despite Obama’s claim to the contrary. While the President has withdrawn more than 90,000 troops from Iraq, he has tripled the U.S. contingent in Afghanistan to almost 100,000 soldiers. Meanwhile more U.S. troops died in Afghanistan last month than any month since the nine-year conflict began.

The move by Obama and Democrats to reduce oil exploration in the United States—offshore or otherwise—will only deepen America’s involvement in Middle East conflicts, and could perhaps lead to a war with Iran. The results of such a foray would destabilize the nation’s energy supplies and send the price of crude oil sharply higher.

Outlook
With crisis can come opportunities and such is the case with the BP spill. Crude oil prices have moved above the $80 per barrel mark and price momentum is on the upswing. Meanwhile President Obama promises to the Green lobby to restrict drilling will not only hamper domestic petroleum production; it will also deepen America’s involvement in the Middle East. That is a mix that could send crude oil prices above $100 per barrel before the end of this year.

 

With the exception of BP, I would buy and hold shares in Big Oil. One company that is moving in the right direction and has a lot of leverage to higher oil and gas prices is Talisman Energy Inc. (NYSE: TLM, $17.00).

Talisman is a large upstream oil and gas company headquartered right in here in Calgary, Canada. In fact Talisman is one of Canada’s largest petroleum companies and it is well insulated from the Middle East. The company’s three major operating areas are Canada, the North Sea and Southeast Asia.

Talisman has a market capitalization of just under $18 billion, which makes its shares very liquid. Yet Talisman is better leveraged to rising energy prices than a giant concern like Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE: XOM, $63.00), which has a market cap of $320 billion.

Talisman was originally part of BP, but in 1992 it became an independent company. Three years ago Talisman’s longtime President and CEO James Buckee retired and John Manzoni, a former BP executive, took over. There is one further connection between the companies. Last month as BP was liquidating assets to pay for the massive Gulf spill, Talisman stepped in and cut a deal, paying C$858 million for a 49 percent stake in BP’s Colombian operations. This purchase is in keeping with Talisman’s strategy of staying out of the Middle East and investing heavily in exploration plays.

And there is more good news: last month Talisman reported a near 10-fold increase in second-quarter profits. And the company expects oil and gas production to grow as much as 10 percent in 2011.

What impresses me most is that last year Talisman replaced 162 percent of its oil and gas production. That makes Talisman is one of the few large oil and gas companies that is growing its reserve base while slashing liabilities. At the end of March the company’s liabilities declined to $1.8 billion, just half what they were the year before.

Talisman’s emphasis on growth through exploration along with the relative safety of its vast reserves of oil and gas makes it an excellent investment. To learn more go to the Talisman’s Web site by clicking here.

Action To Take
Call your stock broker and buy Talisman Energy (NYSE: TLM) at market.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Afghan Folly: Why We Should Have Dropped The Bomb

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.” –Douglas MacArthur.

America’s longest war is again under scrutiny in the wake of the recent flood of WikiLeaks Afghanistan documents. For me the news resurrected a question I have been asking myself for nearly nine years: why wasn’t the war in Afghanistan ended before it even began?

In the wake of 2,740 dead innocent Americans killed on 9/11, why didn’t the United States government deal with al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden with extreme prejudice? I am talking the N word. That is because I believe that Americans would be safer and the world would be a better place if the U.S. had launched a tactical nuclear strike against an organization whose goal is to kill Americans.

The argument against a nuclear strike ranges from breaking international law to harming the environment and killing innocents. But nine years of conventional war has done plenty to hurt the environment and kill combatants and civilians.

So instead the U.S. has become bogged down in its longest war ever; a war with no end; a war that has no recognizable enemy; a war that the nation can ill afford to wage.

The New Pentagon Papers
Daniel Ellsberg, a former U.S. Marine and military analyst, precipitated a rethinking of the Vietnam War in 1971 when he released the “Pentagon Papers.” The papers comprised the U.S. military’s account of what was going on in the Vietnam War.

Ellsberg understood there was a consensus within the Federal government that the U.S. had no realistic chance of victory in Vietnam; that political considerations prevented them from saying so publicly. Ellsberg argued that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and others continued to state in press interviews that victory was "just around the corner,” even though they knew it was not true.

President Nixon put Ellsberg at the top of his enemy’s list. Nixon’s Oval Office tape from 1971, with H.R. Haldeman talking, shows why the White House was out to get Ellsberg: “To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: You can’t trust the government; you can’t believe what they say; and you can’t rely on their judgment.”

Nearly 40 years later WikiLeaks released nearly 92,000 secret military documents about the fighting in Afghanistan. Its founder, Julian Assange, told The Guardian that, “The nearest analogue is the Pentagon Papers that exposed how the United States was prosecuting the war in Vietnam.”

According to The Washington Post, “The WikiLeaks Afghanistan War Logs will fuel political opposition in the U.S. to American troops continuing combat operations in Afghanistan.”

The commentary itself, provided below by the The New York Times, is chilling: “IN HEAVY CONTACT… We have mortars pinned down and fire coming from everywhere…. Multiple enemies running through… and fire coming from the mosque… The police station is shooting at us.”

As it turns out the Combat Outpost Keating barely hung on. Yet eight Americans were killed along with several Afghans. And several more wounded. All this from a mission that was to provide security and back-up the local government.*

Blame It On Bush
It’s not like we don’t already have plenty of reasons to be upset over the war in Afghanistan. But unlike Nixon, who wanted to repress the Pentagon Papers, the Obama administration takes the view that the WikiLeaks Afghanistan documents are old, dating back to when the war was being neglected by President Bush. The Obama White House points out the fact that the WikiLeaks documents end last year, just as President Barack Obama began his new strategy and pledged 30,000 additional troops.

If Vietnam demonstrated anything it is that more troops don’t ensure victory. Not against a battle-hardened enemy that can’t be easily recognized from the overall population.

As the chart above shows, in three years President Johnson almost tripled America’s troop levels in Vietnam. Despite ramping up the war the American military was sideswiped by the Tet Offensive in 1968 which lead CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite to say: “It is increasingly clear that the only rational way out will be to negotiate, not as victors but as an honorable people who lived up to the pledge to defend democracy.”

After Cronkite’s broadcast Johnson said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” Not long afterward Johnson announced he would not seek re-election.

Don’t let LBJ’s decision get your hopes up. Obama is intent on staying for the long haul regardless of what happens in Afghanistan. That means the continuation of a war that kills our sons and daughters; a war that is costing our nation hundreds of billions of dollars. Just last week the Center for Defense Information, estimated the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will reach $1.08 trillion by the end of fiscal year 2010. But the real cost is much worse. As of the end of last month more than 1,200 American service men and women have died fighting in Afghanistan. More than 4,400 American service personnel have died in Iraq.

The WikiLeaks Afghanistan documents only confirm our worst fears—that despite a recent $7.5 billion aid package Pakistan is double-dealing and back-stabbing us. And regardless of how much Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gushes over Pakistan’s alliance, it doesn’t change the fact that the Taliban and al-Qaida have key support from Pakistan’s intelligence service and key players in the Pakistan government. This, and the fact Afghanistan has seen invading forces come and go including the Greeks, Turks, British and the Soviets, makes it impossible to imagine a scenario where America can now win this war.

Perhaps the only opportunity to win in Afghanistan was squandered nine years ago when the U.S. refused to marshal all of its strength to destroy al-Qaida.

Action To Take
More than four decades ago my father C.V. began writing Myers’ Finance & Energy because he believed that the war in Vietnam was unaffordable and that the debt acquired by the Federal government to win it would be extremely inflationary. He and his subscribers bet big on gold and silver beginning in 1967, right before the Tet Offensive. He was proven correct and his subscribers profited.

From 1970 to 1980 the price of silver rose from $1.60 per ounce to more than $50 per ounce and the price of gold increased from $34 per ounce to $850 per ounce.

The war in Afghanistan is every bit as unwinnable now as the Vietnam War was then. Look for even more war spending by the Federal government; the results of which will push precious metal prices higher. That is why I urge you to buy and own physical gold and silver.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

*Footnote: If you want to learn more about the war in Afghanistan and what our troops are really up against, I urge you to read the 2010 bestseller, War, by Sebastian Junger, Harper Collins. Junger was embedded with a combat platoon in the perilous Korengal Valley in 2007 and 2008. Read a review of this book at Boston.com by clicking here.

JM

Green Lies About Oil Sands Put America’s Energy Future At Risk

Alberta’s oil sands are back on the Green’s hit list. And this time the Greens are playing dirty.

A couple of weeks ago the San Francisco based environmental group, Corporate Ethics International—which has few ethics and works closely with the Sierra Club and Greenpeace—spent $50,000 erecting billboards in Denver, Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis that deride Alberta as home to "the other oil disaster.” The campaign urges tourists not to go there.

The billboards—which may be coming to a city near you even if you live in Europe—showcase a dead duck found in a Syncrude tailings pond and an oil-soaked pelican in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now I have been to Alberta’s oil sands on a couple of occasions and I can tell you that the land is scarred. Squeezing oil out of shale is a tough and dirty business and the waste ponds there do kill ducks, although hardly enough to create a frenzy over. In fact fewer ducks die from being soaked in tailings ponds in the oil sands than are killed by flying into wind power turbines.

I need to make one more point: Canada produces 2 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions and the oil sands account for about 5 percent of that total. So while the Fort McMurray area is tarnished, it has a smaller carbon footprint on the world than a handful of Chinese coal-fired power plants. Still I can’t remember Greenpeace damning people that went to the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

I can also tell you that the last time I was up in the Fort McMurray area where Alberta’s giant oil sands are located was October, 2001. I took this trip in the wake of blown-up buildings and murdered Americans—Americans killed by Arabs, most of them Saudis, whose oil production American Greens don’t seem to have a problem with.

At that time I told my subscribers to Outstanding Investments that if I had to choose between energy security and some scarred land I would choose energy security. I also told them that if I had to choose between ducks and people; I would choose people every time.

My real outrage over this slander by the Greens against Alberta is that it is full of lies and it doesn’t even target what the environmentalists consider to be the problem—the oil sands themselves. Instead, it goes after an entire province and its tourist industry.

It was a topic of conversation here in Calgary last week at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Summit. I was on hand and heard as people in business and government on both sides of the United States/Canada border condemned the latest smear tactics.

“I voted with my feet, I’m here (in Calgary),” said David Jacobson, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. “To tell you the truth I think that ad campaign makes about as much sense for people not to come to Alberta to vacation because of the oil sands as it does for people not to visit Chicago because Illinois has coal.”

As an American who was born and now lives in Alberta, I can tell you it is a majestic place to visit. I have not seen greater beauty anywhere in the world than the Rocky Mountains that flank Calgary.

You might think that the Corporate Ethics group would understand that propaganda doesn’t work when the truth is allowed to get out.

Even the infamous liar, Supreme leader Kim Jong-il, has a better understanding of propaganda writes the Montreal Gazette: “The North Koreans don’t let their citizens travel. That is why Corporate Ethics International would like Alberta to be as isolated as Albania.”

There is just another tiny problem with the Alberta attack ads—they are filled without outright lies. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach is particularly angry at the anti-Alberta ads, calling them a "propaganda campaign that is full of lies.”

Stelmach pointed out that claims about the size of the oil sands development, as well as the damage to water and air, are all grossly wrong.

Corporate Ethics International claims that Alberta’s oil sands are “twice the size of England.”

Not even close says Travis Davies, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum. "There is a massive difference between 260,000 square kilometres and the reality of the Alberta oil sands, which is 600 sq. km. impacted and 65 sq. km. reclaimed." So much for truth in advertising.

Still, Alberta’s oil sands might seem like an easy target for the environmentalists, even in an age where radicals in the Middle East are targeting the U.S. That doesn’t mean that the Greens are being honest about the utility of Alberta’s oil sands.

“The environmental risks of the oil sands have been greatly exaggerated and overblown by activist organizations that have different agendas,” says Hal Kvisle, the former CEO of TransCanada, a North American pipeline giant. “These parties, such as Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace, make statements about the oil sands that mostly aren’t true.”

America Needs Alberta’s Blue-Eyed Sheiks
I have some other news for the Greens—if they want to count on Arab oil—some of it from places where extremists continue to plot death and destruction on America—Alberta has plenty of other buyers. In fact China must be tickled pink at the Greens’ attack on Alberta because they are plowing plenty of money into Alberta’s oil sands so that they can secure their energy future in America’s backyard.

As for the U.S., it is on track to import as much as 3 million barrels of oil per day from Alberta’s oil sands by the end of this decade. Right now the U.S. consumes almost 1 million barrels per day of Canadian oil sands. Yet there are Greens in the Obama administration and in the Democrat party that want to derail oil sands imports in pursuit of more expensive green energy technologies—technologies that frankly do not yet exist and may not exist for years or even generations.

The politics of Green are blissfully ignorant that Canada has one of the largest stable oil deposits in the world just a scant distance from America’s borders.

If the Greens get their way and reduce or shut down the flow of Canadian oil, the U.S. will be more vulnerable, paying higher energy prices; in some cases for oil held by maniacal mullahs. And inevitably, China, America’s major competitor, will be enriched and empowered. If you ask me, it is a pretty stiff price to pay over some dead ducks.

Action To Take
Could Alberta’s oil sands do a better job of cleaning up the mess they are making? You bet. Meanwhile there is too much at stake for the U.S. to turn its back on this rich and secure energy source. As a result oil sands stocks will continue to prosper. I recommend you buy Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE, SU, $30.82) and Canadian Oil Sands Trust (TSX: COS-UN.TO, C$27.52).

In fact just last week the Oil & Gas Journal wrote: “The blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and resulting ban on deepwater drilling in U.S. waters may prove a boon for Canadian oil producers,” including oil sands stocks. I couldn’t agree more.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Confessions Of An Illegal Alien

I believe Arizona’s Immigration Law S.B. 1070 is going to be damn effective. In fact I think it should be adopted across the United States. What special insight do I have into the matter? I used to be an illegal alien.

Twenty-seven years ago this month I was sitting at my desk in the Peyton Building in downtown Spokane, Wash., and I got a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). I jerked it open and realized my worst fears. My work visa had not been extended.

Immigrating to the United States had been a disaster right from the start, even though it shouldn’t have been. My dad, C.V. was a U.S. citizen by right of his father being born in Oklahoma. At least that’s what the U.S. State Department said when they issued C.V. a U.S. passport.

Yet INS thought otherwise. They hadn’t forgotten that C.V. had sold gold to Americans when it was illegal for them to own it. INS wanted to deport him. It was a legal fight that would take a decade to resolve. In fact a U.S. Federal judge finally ruled in C.V.’s favor a few months after his death in 1990.

But on that day in 1983 the only thing that mattered was the letter on my desk; the letter that said I had to leave the U.S. or face deportation. It didn’t matter that I had paid my taxes, bought a house and that my wife and I had an American-born son.

Despite the fact my dad was ill I decided that I didn’t really have a choice. Better to move back under my own terms than to be roped-up like a criminal and be “escorted” by deportation bus.

Of course my dad, who was also my boss, was dead set against me going back to Canada. Besides the fact that he hated the Federal government, he had a U.S. passport that proved to him that I was entitled to a green card. He talked to his lawyer Bob Magnuson, who was the brother of Idaho mining legend Harry Magnuson, and set up a meeting with a young immigration lawyer named Dan Keane.

Before Dan became an immigration and criminal lawyer he had worked as an INS agent. In fact his father was a well known immigration judge.

I showed Dan the INS letter and he read it carefully. Then he smiled and said, “So what’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem? This letter says if I don’t leave I am going to be deported!”

“That’s not likely to happen. You’re dad’s citizenship is going to get sorted out and when that happens you will get a green card. Until then I wouldn’t worry about it.”

I told Dan I was plenty worried about it. That I was afraid to get so much as a speeding ticket; that the cop would check on my immigration status and that my wife and I would be headed for Canada.

Dan started laughing. “Hell John, the cops don’t enforce immigration law. They don’t care.”

“They don’t care!” I was astonished. Here I was, living illegally in a country and this lawyer—my lawyer—was telling me that law enforcement didn’t care.

“You could get caught robbing a bank and your immigration status probably wouldn’t be called into question,” explained Dan.

Because of Dan’s advice and my father imploring me to stay, I decided to be an illegal until there was a ruling on C.V.’s citizenship. Fortunately I was given amnesty and granted a green card by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. A decade later I became a U.S. citizen.

I have always been grateful for the opportunity to become an American. But I also know it would never have happened if I had fretted about the police enforcing the law. And while Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has been called a bigot for signing S.B. 1070, she has struck upon an idea that is long overdue: That state law enforcement should enforce U.S. laws and that in doing so the U.S. can at least slow the flood of illegals entering the country.

In fact, on July 12th azcentral.com wrote: “The upcoming enforcement of SB 1070 has caused many illegal immigrants to flee Arizona.”

It is hard for me to understand why the Obama administration is challenging assistance from local law enforcement when clearly the Federal government needs all the help it can get.

There are as many as 30 million illegal aliens in the U.S. That’s the population of Canada. And no place has been impacted harder than Arizona.

According to the Connecticut Law Tribune, “Three state counties have been lost to violent Mexican drug cartels. More than a thousand attempt to cross the border every day. Between 1996 and 2009, the illegal alien population in Arizona increased 300 percent.”

The CLT goes on to point out that, “In 18 months alone, more than 22,000 people were killed in an ongoing drug war in Mexico near the Arizona border. Thugs are now throwing rocks at the heads of our border patrol agents.”

Yet even as Arizona suffers the highest kidnapping rate in the world outside Mexico City, the Obama administration wants to obstruct Arizona from protecting its own people who are, after all, American citizens.

U.S. News & World Report says there may be method to the Federal government’s madness, with both the Obama administration and the Republican Party, “spending way too much time bowing to the interests of illegal immigrants (who come in all races and colors) and refusing to enforce existing laws or pass new ones limiting immigration to that which improves our environment and our economy.”

Through the Justice Department President Barack Obama declares that S.B. 1070, “illegally intrudes on federal prerogatives,” and further states that Federal law “trumps state statutes.”

Is the State Department serious? After all, if somebody is hijacking an airplane or kidnapping someone across state lines do we worry whether they are arrested by the Feds or the local cops? Of course we don’t. So why then should we worry who is enforcing immigration laws? We should only worry that they are being enforced.

As a person who once feared deportation I am not sure what if any of S.B. 1070 has to do with race or racism. I knew that if the INS caught me I was in fact going back to Canada. It wasn’t like they were going to say, “Oh heck you’re a white guy, we will let you stay.” As far as I could see back then and right now, Federal immigration laws are color blind. It is the Federal government which is blind to America’s needs.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Is President Obama As Hapless As Herbert Hoover?

“Herbert Hoover is the greatest humanitarian since Jesus Christ.”
The Chicago Tribune, 1928

With all due respect to Oprah Winfrey, she was not the first person to anoint a Presidential candidate as “The Chosen One.” The Chicago political machinery was doing that with regard to the father of the Great Depression—Herbert Hoover—seven decades earlier. Could it be that Oprah was just as wrong about her President? It looks that way.

Is It Live, Or Is It Memorex?
The double dip recession that became the depression of the 1930s is playing out once again. And as my mentor Chip Wood—the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest™—sometimes points out: “History might not repeat but it certainly hums.”

A whopping 8 million jobs have simply evaporated since the Crash of ’08 despite the more than $3 trillion in stimulus money, most of it courtesy of President Barack Obama. America hasn’t got much bang for the buck when you consider that the official unemployment number is almost 10 percent. And just two days ago 2 million Americans lost their unemployment checks. That number will continue to soar in July while Congress takes its vacation.

Consumer confidence continues to decline while the housing market looks to be heading off a cliff. The national mortgage delinquency rate grew to 9.2 percent in May, up 2.3 percent from a month earlier and almost 8 percent from a year earlier.

Like many Americans Allan H. Meltzer, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University and the author of A History of the Federal Reserve, wanted to believe the President’s assertion during the 2010 State of the Union address that he would grow the economy. However, in the June 30 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Meltzer says that the President has done little to improve things.

“The administration’s stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.”

Earlier this year The New Republic declared: “Barack Obama, You Remind Me of Herbert Hoover.” “It might seem ludicrous or unfair to compare Obama to one of the most vilified presidents of the last century. But to his contemporaries, Hoover had been the American most suited to be president.”

In fact Henry Ford practically gushed over the Hoover nomination. And yes, you are forgiven if it all sounds a bit familiar.

“The reason we must have a new kind of President is that we are on the threshold of a new kind of world,” said Ford. “(We need a man) who can direct and oversee and referee between all parties and keep them all busy at the main task of creating prosperity which shall be continued and equally distributed throughout the country.”

This comes from the man who once said, “History is bunk.” Perhaps it is not so surprising then that Ford adored Hoover; the man many say was a crucial cog in causing the Great Depression.

A Very Depressing Depression
I heard a lot about the Great Depression because it hit my parents so hard. They were just getting started in life and it changed them in so many ways. But even as I continue to read more on the past I am shocked at how bad things were.

From 1929 to 1933 national income in the United States reduced by half; from $88 billion to $40 billion. Output from U.S. factories fell by half and automobile production fell by 20 percent. By 1934 American steel mills were operating at just 12 percent capacity. In fact, pig iron production fell to its lowest level since 1886.

But the banking crisis is what crushed the spirit of the nation. In 1929, 659 banks failed. In 1930, 1,352 banks failed. And in 1931, 2,294 banks closed their doors.

Deflation was in full swing. Farming, still the centerpiece of the American economy was crushed. In 1930 alone farm income fell from $12 billion to $5 billion. Factories did little better. From 1929 to 1933 factory wages fell by the same totals. U.S. M2 money supply dropped from $47 billion to $32 billion.

At the depths of the downturn 1 million people in New York City were out of work. As for Chicago, there was payback to be had for backing Hoover. Times there were so bad Al Capone’s soup kitchen provided 120,000 free meals in the space of six months.

Double Dipping Dow
Most people associate The Great Depression with 1929—the year of the infamous stock market crash. Yet the worst of the Depression was in 1933. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rebounded smartly after hitting its 1929 low of 195.35 on Nov. 13, 1929. By December 9 it had bounced to 267.56—a gain of nearly 37 percent in less than a month. By April 16, 1930, the Dow had risen to 297.25—a gain of 52 percent from the 1929 lows.

Many investors thought the worst was over and piled in looking to recover losses suffered in the ’29 Crash. They couldn’t have picked a worse time. The Dow collapsed, shattering the 1929 lows. In December of 1930 the Dow finished at 154.45 on Dec. 17, 1930. The ultimate bottom was not hit until 1933 when the Industrial Average closed at 49.68 on February 27.

The Crash of 1929 was triggered by a crisis of credit similar to what we are experiencing now. In fact, one could make the argument that today’s debt implosion is even worse, encompassing not only stocks purchased on margin, but also real estate—both residential and commercial—as well as consumer credit. Credit cards weren’t around in 1929. Neither were adjustable-rate mortgages.

The Bulls claim that stocks always seem to climb a wall of worry. And until a few months ago it just looked as if they might be correct. The Obama stimulus package seemed to erase fears of deflation.

The Dow Industrial Average, which hit 6,440 in March of last year, did make a remarkable recovery. This past March the Dow was back close to 12,000. However, the Dow never did break the 12,000 mark and it has since fallen back to about 10,000. Meanwhile we seem to be slipping into a summer of discontent.

I believe we are at the edge of another depression, an economic collapse that began with the failure of Lehman Brothers.

Of course this is not what was expected to happen. Obama was supposed to usher in a new age of prosperity. Then again the New York Herald Tribune declared that Herbert Hoover’s election: “Marks an epoch in American political history… America stands at the threshold of a new era.”*

Action To Take
Sell equities in anticipation of history repeating itself. Physical gold, blue chip gold shares and a handful of resource stocks will provide protection from the storm. Do not delay in taking action. Summer will provide only temporary reprieve at best. My long-term target for the Dow Jones Industrial Average is 6,000, almost 40 percent lower than where it currently sits.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

* If you want to know about the Great Depression, including its causes, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of, The Year of the Great Crash, 1929, by William K. Klingaman, 1989, Harper & Row, New York. You can buy a new or used copy of it in hardcover at Amazon.com by clicking on the link above.

The G-20 Pig-out And What It Means For Gold

Listening to President Barack Obama at the Group of 20 summit in Toronto, Canada, last week reminded me a bit of myself. As a person who has gained, lost and then gained back 100 pounds over the past decade, I have given much consideration to the very best time to start a diet. Without a doubt the answer is always: tomorrow.
                     
For nearly 18 months Obama has been on a spending orgy that would make the Roman Emperor Caligula blush. Yet Obama says that the United States and other nations need to cut spending; just not yet, damn it!

"Because durable growth must also include fiscal responsibility,” said Obama after the G-20, “we agreed to balance the need for continued growth in the short term and fiscal sustainability in the medium term." Then the President added: “We can’t all rush to the exits at the same time, so countries that have surpluses should think about how we can spur growth."

In other words, “Of course I will have that piece of cheesecake.”

This is especially true if you not only think the cheesecake isn’t bad for you, but if you have in fact convinced yourself that you just might die without it.

After offering up $7 trillion in spending to re-flate the economy following the Crash of ’08 you might think that the industrialized nations had already bitten off more than they could swallow. This is apparently not so. The G-20 summit concluded with Big Governments showing their still insatiable spending appetites.

As a native born son I can tell you that nobody knows how to borrow and spend better than Canadians. Prime Minister Stephen Harper proved it by urging advanced and developing countries set aside their differences and spend until it hurts.

Harper bragged after the summit ended that the world will adopt a “carefully calibrated” plan that rightly puts growth and jobs first and then tackles market-rattling deficits in a big way.

Harper advocated what he called the, “continued role for ongoing stimulus in the short term,” adding: “The G-20 still has a lot to do to fully entrench the global recovery.”

In their final communiqué the G-20 leaders said that “strengthening the recovery is the key.” Nevertheless the G-20 leaders agreed to cut deficits in half by 2013 and to put government debt loads on a stable or downward track by 2016.

It all sounds a bit like Kirstie Alley at Thanksgiving dinner.

World’s Biggest Loser
And in case you were wondering, nobody has a bigger appetite to spend than Obama. The President says that he fears an austerity program will choke off the global recovery, inviting another crisis. But even he concedes that ballooning American and European deficits will be pared back eventually (just one last box of chocolates… I swear it).

“We are moving in the same direction,” the President said as the summit came to a close. Exactly what direction that is remains unclear, but I for one think it might require an economic liposuction also known as deflation.

Of course that is all down the road. The good news for the U.S. is that the G-20’s six-year window leaves Obama the latitude to front-load stimulus and bring in austerity later. No doubt that will come sometime after the President’s bid for re-election.

Meanwhile, Washington is currently running a $1.4 trillion deficit, or a number which almost totals 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Still the President has said he is determined to keep on spending until we see a permanent economic turnaround. When that will be is anyone’s guess, but one thing is clear: it won’t be easy to stabilize the debt load, much less set it on a downward path. For the 31 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, unemployment now stands at 46 million, up some 50 percent since 2007.

Trillions have already been spent trying to resurrect the global economy and if the G-20 meeting is any indication, world governments are about to double-down on their bet. One has to wonder if even John Maynard Keynes—the father of deficit spending—would recognize what is going on now in his name. Perhaps Keynes would fear that runaway deficits threaten an even worse financial crisis.

Eventually deficits become counterproductive. They cause concern and eventually fear in the credit markets. This will invariably lead to skyrocketing interest rates and despite government’s best intentions, an economic collapse.

Germany—a country whose people are known for their boorish appetites—is urging caution when it comes to more government spending. At the G-20 summit German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned: “It’s not about growth at any price, it’s about sustainable growth.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble added: “Nobody can seriously dispute that excessive public debts, not only in Europe, are one of the main causes of the crisis.”

And German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle threw in his two euro-cents, saying that the U.S. and Europe need to “urgently” slash spending.

Fat chance I say. A doctor at an obese clinic is more likely to stop fat kids tumbling into an abandoned Twinkie truck than the German Bundestag will be at reining in the spending of other G-20 members.

In fact President Obama has staked his reputation and more importantly, his re-election, on more stimulus spending.

The Wall Street Journal writes that the Obama administration is insisting on new stimulus measures—”convincing evidence that they too recognize that the earlier measures failed.

“The administration’s stimulus program has failed. Growth is slow and unemployment remains high. The president, his friends and advisers talk endlessly about the circumstances they inherited as a way of avoiding responsibility for the 18 months for which they are responsible.”

The latest market evidence says that the WSJ is spot on. Consumer confidence is anything but confident. The Dow Industrials are on the edge of a cliff—perched below 10,000 points, while the S&P 500 is at its lowest point since the dark days of October 2009.

And don’t look for any help from our so-called friends at the Federal Reserve. The central bank has already cut the cost of money as close to zero as it can go. In fact, the yield on 10-year Treasury notes has fallen to less than 3 percent, one of the few times in our history.

All in all it’s enough to drive a fella to run out to Wendy’s and buy up Baconators.

But there is something out there that would soothe us a whole lot better than grease. I am talking about gold.

Bullion prices have risen almost 50 percent since I first recommended it to you on this site last summer—even in the wake of last week’s big correction that took place mostly on profit taking and some fears of deflation. Still, I am convinced that Washington’s next flood of money will push the Midas metal higher—much higher—up to $1,800 per ounce within the next year. That makes bullion at $1,200 a bargain.

Most importantly, gold looks to be the only dependable investment out there. Government policies will soon unleash a tidal wave of inflation which will rock the stock and bond markets as well as the banks themselves. The only profitable place, in fact the only sensible place to be fully invested right now is in gold.

I started out by talking about diets. I want to finish up by telling you something my dad said to me about gardening: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now.”

Of course it would have been better to have bought more gold sooner. But let’s do the next best thing and buy some today.

Action To Take
Sell all Big Board stocks and all bond instruments this very day and use the funds to buy physical gold. I recommend American Gold Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs and African Krugerrands. I prefer these because they are stamped in English, have their gold content stamped on them, come in convenient, well-known sizes (1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and one-tenth-ounce) and sell at small premiums over the value of their gold content.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Paradise Lost: For The Gulf Coast And The United States

“So many and so various laws are giv’n;
So many laws argue so many sins.” –Paradise Lost, John Milton, 1667

In the epic poem Paradise Lost, Adam and Eve have taken the forbidden fruit and God is asking Adam why. As in Genesis, Adam is passing the buck, telling God that this woman whom He made gave him the fruit. Adam asks God how such evil could have ever been expected from one so lovely.

God tells Adam that the mistake is Adam’s not Eve’s; that Adam was to look out for Eve. God points out that just before Eve met the serpent Adam had told her that they should stick together because the Archangel Raphael had warned them of the serpent. Yet Adam let Eve stray away to meet her fate, the consequences of which changed the world.

And in the end God holds Adam accountable for the loss of paradise.

Obama’s Blame Game
Just as Adam did with Eve, President Barack Obama is shifting as much blame as he can onto BP.

According to The Daily Telegraph, BP CEO Tony Hayward’s grilling looked like a kangaroo court. He had to listen to a litany of accusations from United States lawmakers before he was able to say a single word in his own defense: “As far as the members were concerned, he was there to take the blame, whether or not there were mitigating circumstances, or companies other than BP should be sharing culpability. It was as though, in a criminal trial, the victim’s statements were being read out before the verdict had been passed, although that was a foregone conclusion—a resounding ‘guilty.’ A kangaroo court would have offered a fairer hearing.”

What The Daily Telegraph doesn’t understand is that the Congressional inquisition of BP and Big Oil was never intended to be fair. The goal was to keep the elected elites in office and increase their influence.

Just as Adam thought Eve was a perfect foil, so too, does President Obama think that of BP. And he is right. Last week White House spokesman Bill Burton mocked BP’s CEO and all-around English twit Hayward for attending a luxury yacht race on crystal waters while the Gulf of Mexico is turning into the Black Sea.

Burton opined that Hayward should take part in the cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico with the $400,000 yacht he co-owns.

"You know, look, if Tony Hayward wants to put a skimmer on that yacht and bring it down to the Gulf, we’d be happy to have his help," Burton said to a chorus of yuck-yucks in the White House briefing room.

It is almost beyond my comprehension that BP could have such bad PR, from Hayward saying he “wants his life back,” to BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg calling the people of the Gulf Coast, “small people.” But it seems the people of the Gulf are small people, not just to BP but to Obama as well.

The same weekend that Hayward was skipping his yacht, Obama was walking the links. Even as tar balls washed up on Destin, Fort Walton and Panama City Beach, Obama was busy hitting golf balls.

Just as Adam was quick to condemn Eve, the Obama White House sees no hypocrisy in pointing out BP’s sins while denying their own.

Caught Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
One estimate reported by CNN says the catastrophe of the Deepwater Horizon platform spill could cost just the Florida Gulf Coast alone 200,000 jobs before it is all over. Yet the cost on all of us is only starting to climb. Seafood is becoming more expensive and oil prices have resumed their climb towards $80 per barrel.

It is important to note that before the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, the Gulf of Mexico was producing about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. That is almost a third of domestic production.

If the Obama administration follows through with an overall ban on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and further tightens the screws on exploration in Alaska, the consequences of this crisis will have a devastating affect on our oil needs.

Last week a New Orleans Federal judge lifted the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling imposed by the President, saying: “The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium.”

However Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar responded that he will issue a new order on deepwater offshore oil drilling.

“We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP’s well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling,” Salazar said. “Based on this ever-growing evidence, I will issue a new order in the coming days that eliminates any doubt that a moratorium is needed, appropriate, and within our authorities.”

Expect the White House to throw its full weight behind suspension of deep water drilling. And that is bad news for the nation which desperately needs oil from the Gulf of Mexico. Without it we will be left begging OPEC.

Does BO Have A Backdoor Deal With BP?
Meanwhile BP has kicked in $20 billion to pay for their mistake. That led Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) to apologize to BP saying that the $20 billion escrow fund was a “shakedown” by the White House.

I think Barton was not only ignorant of the political winds but was dead wrong. I believe that BP and the White House made a deal for the Federal government to funnel that money back to BP in the back door. One of just a handful of ways for this to work would be to give BP sweet deals on future leases.

In the end it will cost the taxpayers more than it will cost BP. Still, Obama probably considers the price tag a bargain if it can turn the nation Green.

“The motivation for allowing the well to blow and prolonging the crisis isn’t merely financial, it’s political too,” writes Prison Planet. “The motto for the people who pull the strings inside the Obama administration, people like Rahm Emanuel and Hillary Clinton is to ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’—and Obama himself has certainly taken that to heart over the course of the last two months.”

Prison Planet speculates that Obama and BP are joined at the hip: “The Obama administration has aggressively exploited the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to manufacture an artificial urgency in an effort to speed the passage of cap and trade in pursuit of a ‘green economy,’ an agenda firmly supported by the transnational oil corporations Obama is claiming to be reigning in. British Petroleum is one of the founding members of the cap and trade lobby, and has consistently lobbied for greenhouse gas restraints… and subsidies for oil pipelines, solar panels, natural gas and bio-fuels.”

Prison Planet concludes that BP stands to profit to the tune of billions.

Unfortunately what is good for BP is not good for the U.S. Some economic studies have indicated that going Green costs 2.2 jobs for every new job created.

In the Gulf, not only are shores being infected with a killer sludge, but now the Federal government is putting a moratorium on drilling. At stake are hundreds of thousands of jobs for people who have neither the time nor the money to go to yacht races or country clubs. It is their, and even our, paradise lost.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

BP: Blame Petroleum

Birds covered in oil make a great advertisement for renewable energy.”
The Financial Times, June 16, 2010.

As I watched President Barack Obama’s Oval Office speech last weekin which he offered up empty buckets of hopeI reflected on the Greens and the crisis their President is muddling through. Like a cop, there never seems to be a Green around when you need one.

Certainly the Save-The-Earth Squadron has been noticeably silent on the Gulf oil spill. In fact there hasn’t been a peep from the animal rights activists, even in the face of CNN’s continuous coverage of oil stricken pelicans.

According to Politico, “As the greatest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history has played out on Obama’s watch, the environmental movement has essentially given him a passall but refusing to unleash any vocal criticism against the president even as the public has grown more frustrated by Obama’s performance.”

In fact, environmental groups sacrificed some seals to run a full page ad in The Washington Post earlier this month. Incredibly, the ad does not fault Obama over the ecological catastrophe. In fact it thanked him for putting on hold an Alaska drilling project. “We deeply appreciate your decision…” the ad tells Obama.

It gets even more surreal.

“President Obama is the best environmental president we’ve had since Teddy Roosevelt,” Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope told the Bangor Daily News earlier this month. “He obviously did not take the crisis in the Minerals Management Service adequately seriously, that’s clear. But his agencies have done a phenomenally good job.”

Good job? Can you imagine if this disaster belonged to John McCain and Sarah Palin? The Greens would be marching on Washington with ropes in hand. So what is going on?

I think the answer is pretty easy: Greens are not outraged by what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico because it is a means to and end. The end being a President that wants to reshape the U.S. economy right down to the last solar panel.

“These guys have bet the farm on this administration,” said Ted Nordhaus, chairman of an environmental think-tank, the Breakthrough Institute. “There has been a real hesitancy to criticize this administration out of a sense that they’re kind of the only game in town. These guys are so beholden to this administration to move their agenda that I think they’re unwilling to criticize them.”

Even as Obama compares the oil spill to 9/11, the silence of the environmentalists is deafening. It is all part of the Green’s strategy to paint petroleum as the enemy. And Obama is marching lockstep with them.

“In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11,” said the President, “I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”

Obama is using the catastrophe to push forward climate and energy reform. These are not my conclusions. This is what the President has vowed: “(We will) move forward in a bold way in a direction that finally gives us the kind of future-oriented… visionary energy policy that we so vitally need and has been absent for so long.

“One of the biggest leadership challenges for me going forward is going to be to make sure that we draw the right lessons from this disaster,” the President said.

Obama said he did not know if America would shift from an oil-based economy in his lifetime, however he added that now was the time to “start making that transition.”

Obama’s comments and the Federal government’s need to look like it is doing something about the oil spill led the CEOs from Big Oil to Capitol Hill last week with promises to reform while pleading their case for petroleum.

The executives of the five biggest oil companies operating in the U.S. faced accusations that the Deep Horizon oil spill is somehow the fault of all of them. The bosses of BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips delved into the safety of offshore oil exploration and drilling and even had to muster arguments as to why oil is a necessity to the American economy.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
I can see why BP was grilled by Congress; but I am baffled why the other Big Four were called before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

"This blowout happened at a BP well,” declared Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), “but, if it occurred at an ExxonMobil or Chevron well, they wouldn’t have been any more prepared to respond.”

Excuse me Mr. Waxman, but it didn’t occur at an ExxonMobil or a Chevron well. It happened at a BP well, and while we are on the subject let’s talk about why it happened. It happened because the available terra firma of the U.S. has been over drilled, over pumped and sucked dry.

Still Chairman Waxman and the rest of the committee have Big Oil back-peddling. ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva looked like a kindergarten kid ready to cry as he explained that the Federal government’s energy policy must "recognize that we have a robust oil and gas industry that generates vital U.S. jobs, as well as substantial state and Federal revenue from tax and royalty payments."

Obama’s Testing The Waters
Common sense suggests that Mulva and the rest of the non-BP executives should have told Congress to shove-off, that they are in fact keeping America’s economy afloat and, oh by the way, providing you with transportation home. Big Oil isn’t doing this. Instead they are allowing themselves to become whipping boys for Must See Congressional TV. That tells me that something bigger is afoot. Exactly what that is is being revealed by Obama.

From the Oval Office Obama said: “The time to embrace a clean energy future is now.”

It just so happens, writes The Financial Times, that wind turbine makers and solar panel companies are ramping up their pressure on Congress and getting a sympathetic ear.

A member of the Clinton White House (Bill’s not Hillary’s) told The Times that renewable companies had to seize the moment quickly. "Most events do not engage people’s heartstrings and neurons together. This one does," he said, adding: "It cries out for the President to push the Senate to act this year."

First come the heartstrings then come the purse strings. By the time this thing finishes up the environmentalists will be tickled silly. For them the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is a perfect storma stupendous way for the Greens to collect a lot of green from ordinary people like you and me.

Action To Take: The rant against Big Oil is mostly for show. However, BP (NYSE: BP, $29.58) is a mess and it is only going to get worse.

Chart

Fortunately we sold BP on May 5 and recommended you do the same in A Crude Coincidence—The Gulf Oil Spill Works Out Well For The Greens. BP traded that day at $52 per share. At this writing it is trading under $30 per share. If for some reason you still haven’t sold your shares, do so now. Obama and the Big Green Machine may bankrupt BP.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold

Between A Rock And A Slippery Place

It’s taken the biggest environmental crisis in American history to drive home a simple point—Washington’s energy policy has been reckless and could yet be the ruination of this once great United States.

The latest polls show that 38 percent of Americans approve of President Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil crisis. Which makes one wonder, what would it take for these people not to support the President?

Of course there is the latest success that appears to be working almost seamlessly above the Deep Horizon oil well 5,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico. The containment dome is now trapping more than 15,000 barrels per day of spewing oil, up from just 6,000 barrels per day when it was first placed over the ruptured hole. That’s amazing; the Obama administration said that the ruptured well was only leaking 5,000 barrels per day to begin with!

The President has promised that the U.S. will bounce back from this cataclysm. “We will get through this crisis,” said the President, echoing the words of President Carter who declared that he would bring the American hostages home from Iran, even as the daily calendar on that catastrophe clicked forward endlessly. Will this one reach day 100, day 150, perhaps even day 200?

Better Than Ever
Last week Obama said that the people of the Gulf coast "are going to need help from the entire country," but that he is determined to see that the region will be restored to a condition better than it was before the BP well blew up.

Better? That is like saying Vietnam is better after being raked with Agent Orange?

It is estimated that BP is on the hook for $14 billion but that will never make things better. Not for them (The BP brand has been tarnished for decades); not for the wildlife and certainly not for the people along the coast that make their living from those waters. And that is if we don’t get another “incident.”

But wait! The Deepwater Horizon is not the only well spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. According to a Federal document a nearby drilling rig, the Ocean Saratoga, has been leaking since at least April 30. While much smaller than the BP spill it has nevertheless produced a 10-mile-long slick that can be seen on satellite images. Diamond Offshore, which owns the drilling rig, said that they could not comment on the ongoing spill but it appears as if a boat is putting dispersants on the slick.

It all adds up to one thing—even after BP antes up billions you can bet the Federal government is going to be on the hook for a substantial part of the tab. The President promises that he is going to squeeze every penny for the cost of this problem out of BP but Obama has a pretty poor record when it comes to holding companies accountable for their mistakes. Just ask bank executives who threw the economy into a tailspin then collected billions in bailouts and then gave themselves millions in bonuses.

Regardless of the cost, the Gulf of Mexico is not the real problem. The 2 million barrels of crude oil that will have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico is a symptom of a much bigger problem; one that is getting progressively worse. I am talking about America’s unrequited addiction to oil which has been drilled dry within our borders.

The U.S. is now pumping less than 5 million barrels of oil per day. We pumped almost twice that much oil 30 years ago during the first Iranian crisis.

That leaves the U.S. dependent on harvesting petroleum wherever it can, including 5,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. It also leaves the U.S. importing more than two out of every three barrels we burn, much of that from countries that hate us.

Oil discoveries have been declining since 1964

As the graph above shows, the discovery rate for oil in the United States has fallen off a cliff. The U.S. is tapped out and drilled out. You have to go back to the 1920s to find a decade where less oil was discovered in the U.S. than will be discovered this decade. In case you are wondering, in 1920 there were 7.5 million automobiles in the U.S. Today there are about 250 million registered vehicles on the road.

Driven To Disaster
“Over the last 25 years, opportunities to head off the current crisis were ignored, missed or deliberately blocked, according to analysts, politicians and veterans of the oil and automobile industries,” wrote The New York Times.

The Times pointed out that as politicians heatedly debate opening new regions to drilling, corralling energy speculators, or starting an Apollo-like effort to find renewable energy supplies, analysts say the real source of the problem is closer to home. In fact, it’s parked in our driveways.

A whopping 70 percent of the 21 million barrels of oil the U.S. consumes every day goes for transportation, with the bulk of that burned by individual drivers. Americans’ daily use of oil is nearly twice the combined consumption of the Chinese and Indians.

Our nation’s dependence on imported oil has only kept growing in recent years, undermining the trade balance and creating a perfect storm for environmental disasters like the one happening in the Gulf of Mexico.

From Gaza To The Gulf Of Mexico
There has been no summer lull for the Obama administration. Consider:

  • June is turning out to be one of the bloodiest months in the Afghan war.
  • More than seven years after the U.S.-led invasion of the country in March 2003, bombings and shootings still remain common across Iraq.
  • Much of the world is outraged about events in Gaza, which may or may not have been provoked by America’s largest aircraft carrier also known as Israel.

The common denominator between these events and the Gulf spill is oil. If not for oil and America’s strategic need to secure the world’s last rich pools—most of which lay under Arab lands—Washington could pull its armies out of the Middle East, be an honest broker of peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. That would not only save American lives but also hundreds of billions of dollars that are being spent on a foreign occupation. It would also restore the reputation of the U.S. which would help usher in a new age of prosperity.

But don’t expect peace to break out anytime soon. The President has a lot to say about the need to go Green, but there are two realities:

  • The technologies needed to replace oil are not here nor are they on the horizon.
  • The only Green that this President seems to understand is the kind of green that BP gave him when he was running for office. After all Obama was the largest recipient of BP campaign contributions.

It seems that if you give the President enough mulla, he is willing to let all of us deal with the Mullahs.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

It’s The Greens That Sowed The Seeds Of The Gulf Oil Disaster

To the Greens I have six words regarding the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico: Your President, your policies, your fault.

After all Barack Obama was the progressive Green candidate, a thinker who could steer the course in the 21st Century. Oprah anointed then-Senator Obama as "The Chosen One". To Oprah and a great majority of Liberals, Obama was the anti-Dubya; a larger than life leader with savior qualities that would lead us to peace and overcome all obstacles.

So far, so bad. America’s endgame for Iraq is in question because of increasing levels of Shiite-Sunni violence. Afghanistan looks more untenable all the time. The recovery is sluggish and healthcare has been rammed down the throats of the American people. Now we face an enormous crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s been almost two months since an explosion sent crude pumping into the Gulf and the Obama administration has shown an astonishing lack of leadership.

David Gergen, a centrist political commentator and advisor to four Presidents, has pointed out a basic lack of leadership from the Obama administration: “Ultimately it is not the responsibility of BP or any other company to protect American interests but the responsibility of the Federal government.”

While on Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN, Gergen added: “If our government had fought World War II like the way we’re fighting the oil spill, there’s a good chance many of us would be speaking German today.”

Gergen is hardly alone in the criticism. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, the general who endorsed Obama in 2008, says the President has been far too slow in asserting leadership over the Gulf spill and the time has come for a "comprehensive and total attack" on the problem.

So here it is, a news flash to Oprah and the Liberals: When it comes to leadership, Barack Obama is a lot more Herbert Hoover than he is Harry Truman, regardless of how many “the buck stops here” speeches Obama chooses to give. Little wonder that a recent USA Today/Gallup survey showed that six out of 10 Americans believe the Federal government is doing a “poor” or “very poor” job handling the spill.

The President bristles at criticism that the Gulf crisis is his Katrina. Even in the face of the failure of BP to stem the spill with its top-kill option, Obama was defending the Federal government’s record and promised aggressive action to ensure future drilling is done safely. He has extended a moratorium on new exploration drilling in the Gulf and announced that 33 current projects in the deep water will be suspended along with two permits for exploration wells in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska.

“As we continue our response effort, we’re also moving quickly on steps to ensure that a catastrophe like this never happens again,” he said. “I’ve said before that producing oil here in America is an essential part of our overall energy strategy. But all drilling must be safe.”

Respectfully Mr. President, can we not worry about future leaks until we fix this one? After all, the BP gusher has well surpassed the 1989 Exxon spill in Alaska as the largest ever in the United States. Crude has continued to spew for 52 days after it began with a rig explosion that killed 11 people. Every effort to stop the spill has so far proved unsuccessful.

When I was a boy on the farm we didn’t worry about the horses that might get out; we scurried about to catch the horse that had gotten out. And right now there is a big and nasty animal rolling about the Gulf presenting a clear and present danger to the United States. Meanwhile we are getting the Green lecture—how to stop future oil spills. Which brings me to my second news flash—it is Green policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

The Greens Made Us Drill So Deep
Last January I wrote about the problems and costs of drilling for oil at such extraordinary depths as those being worked off the coast of Louisiana. It was called The Deep Truth About Oil and the Gulf of Mexico.

In that column I said: “Chevron has spent 10 years and a whopping $2.7 billion for this project. This is the cost of running a drill and casing more than 30,000 feet through earth and ocean, the same distance that an airliner flies above the earth. Chevron will spend billions more and in the end, even with all the high-tech in the world, there are no guarantees that its deep-water experiment will hit pay-dirt. In fact there is less than a 50/50 chance that Chevron’s latest deep-sea adventure will yield anything. Still Chevron and their brethren don’t have a choice.

“The Wall Street Journal sums up the situation: ‘Big easily tapped oil fields close to shore have become off-limits.’”

Fast forward a few months and we saw the real danger in not drilling in shallow waters and places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). We see what happens when Big Oil is forced to drill in 5,000 feet or more of seawater; depths at which accidents can’t be easily repaired.

I’ve been talking to my friends in the Alberta oil patch about this for weeks. But the problem didn’t see the light of day until the May 29 episode of Meet the Press. There Host David Gregory asked White House Energy Adviser Carol Browner if in response to the Gulf Coast oil spill, America should start drilling in ANWR.

Gregory asked: "Is the problem that we’re drilling in water that’s just too deep?" 

Gregory continued: "Should you (the White House) even rethink your own approach to the environment to say… maybe in the Arctic Wildlife Reserve; we ought to be drilling there… we ought to be going into shallower waters so that this can be done more safely?"

Incredibly Gregory wasn’t given an answer. But even I know this simple truth—that we need to be drilling in shallow water and places like ANWR. Places where accidents can be corrected.

Don’t expect any leadership on this from the President even though his decision to suspend deepwater drilling off the U.S. coast will have consequences.

“An extended moratorium on safely producing our oil and natural gas resources from the Gulf of Mexico would create a moratorium on economic growth and job creation,” said Jack Gerard, chief executive of the American petroleum Institute.

It’s worth noting that the Gulf of Mexico currently produces about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day—an amount larger than the output of Canada’s oil sands. It was expected to grow to 1.9 million barrels by 2025. But the jury is out on this until Obama—"The Chosen One"—chooses leadership over politics and stops this catastrophe.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

North Korea—Brace For Another Phony War

“What difference does it make if it’s true? If it’s a story and it breaks, they’re gonna run with it.”Wag the Dog

Upset by the Energizer Oil Spill, the healthcare bill or our economic ills? Don’t worry; you might not have to fret much longer. Not because anybody is going to fix these problems. Rather because President Barack Obama might be seeding a much bigger problem.

Last week Obama announced United States troops stationed in the Korean Peninsula were going to a war footing. The move came as South Korea announced it was cutting off all trade with the North in retaliation for what it claims is the deliberate sinking of its warship the Cheonan in March. The government in Seoul vowed “immediate” retaliation if North Korea attempted further provocations.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, “U.S. support for South Korea’s defense is unequivocal, and the President has directed his military commanders to coordinate closely with their [South Korean] counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression.”

It has even been “leaked” that because of the urgency of the “crisis”, the U.S. has deployed its most advanced air-superiority fighter, the Raptor F-22, to the Korean Peninsula.

Excuse this writer for thinking it all sounds a bit too much like the movie Wag the Dog. In that film a spin doctor sees his President’s polls falling so he employs a Hollywood director to construct a fake war with Albania. It is all an attempt to distract the media and the people.

Of course what is happening in Korea may have nothing to do with growing dissatisfaction over Obama’s handling of the oil spill, the recent 10 percent decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the European debt crisis. North Korea may in fact be a clear and present danger to our national security. But we should consider that the “crisis” with North Korea is a diversion from growing success for the Tea Party and growing criticism of the President. In fact there is precedent.

Gulf Of Tonkin
Pyongyang has denied it torpedoed the Cheonan near the Korean maritime border killing 46 sailors. And it has accused South Korea of trespassing in its waters, saying that the South has sent “dozens of warships” into its waters these past few weeks in "a deliberate provocation aimed to spark off another military conflict."

I am not stupid enough to believe what comes from this reckless government and its midget dictator Kim Jong-il. Then again I am not stupid enough to believe everything the Federal government tells me either. If you are my age or older you might remember President Johnson and the Gulf of Tonkin.

That military crisis was ushered to an unsuspecting public on Aug. 5, 1964, with a headline in The Washington Post that read: “American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression.” That same day The New York Times reported: “President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.”

According to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, There never was a “second attack” by North Vietnam. No “renewed attacks against American destroyers.” Instead these official lies told from the President on down took hold and opened the floodgates for the bloody and useless Vietnam war; a conflict that originally had a huge backing by the American public and swept LBJ into office with the greatest percentage of the total popular vote (61 percent) ever attained by a Presidential candidate.

The same LBJ who just three months before the election had ordered U.S. bombers to "retaliate" for a North Vietnamese torpedo attack; and attack that never happened. In fact a year later LBJ joked: “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.” All very funny except for the terrible cost in blood and money that the Vietnam conflict inflicted. You notice I don’t use the word “war” because the U.S.  didn’t declare war, not then and not in the nearly half century since.

Instead Congress passed the Southeast Asia Resolution (the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution) backing the President in taking “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” On Aug. 10—less than a week after the fabricated fight—Johnson signed the resolution. There were only two dissenting votes in the Senate and not one in the House.

The Uncensored War, a book by Daniel Hallin, indicts the press over Vietnam.* Hallin points out that the media had “a great deal of information available which contradicted the official account of Tonkin Gulf events; it simply wasn’t used.” Just the day before the first incident Hanoi had protested the attacks on its territory by Laotian aircraft and South Vietnamese gunboats.

What’s more, wrote Hallin, “It was generally known that ‘covert’ operations against North Vietnam, carried out by South Vietnamese forces with U.S. support and direction, had been going on for some time.”

Ancient history you say? Not if you count Saddam Hussein and those weapons of mass destruction that never did turn up. That fairy tale gave us $1 trillion conflict with Iraq and a resounding re-election of another incumbent President.

The bottom line is I won’t be surprised if this fearless President stirs the nation into action and gets many of us ready at the ramparts in the face of a foreign horde. It is what General Douglas MacArthur warned us of.

“Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense,” said the General in 1951 adding: “Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions—those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.”

MacArthur knew what it took to wage and win a real war. He also learned the hard way the politics and economics involved in a modern “conflict”… the kind of conflicts the U.S. invariably falls into when the nation’s economic or political woes grow out of control.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

*Footnote: The Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam, Daniel C. Hallin, New York, Oxford University Press, 1986.

Obama’s Big Fat Greek Bailout

“It was built against the will of the immortal gods, and so it did not last for long.” Homer, The Iliad

The youngsters that run Wall Street know a lot more about Homer Simpson than they do the Greek poet. But in the wake of riots in Greece and stock market gyrations at home, we may all soon be in for a full fledged tragedy of epic proportions.

The $1 trillion bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Europe to stave off a Greek debt default is just the latest attempt by Big Government to defeat deflation. But the soaring price of gold shows that this latest rescue is mired with problems.

Consider the fact that even the strongest of the rescuers are bleeding debt. Germany, once the hero of fiscal policy in Europe, has seen government debt rise to a whopping 80 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Germany is far stronger than the other weak sisters that make up the euro—Spain, Portugal and Italy.

It looks as if the $1 trillion bailout to Greece may not have stabilized global stock markets and it certainly has not arrested the decline of the euro. Last week The New York Times reported that, “Fear in the financial markets is building again, this time over worries that the Continent’s biggest banks face strains that will hobble European economies.”

Greece is the latest domino in a continuing debt crisis that began with the implosion of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Greece is just another link in a very weak chain. In fact, the IMF warns that “high levels of public indebtedness could weigh on economic growth for years.”

Borrowing Against All Of Our Tomorrows
The world’s budget deficit as a percentage of GDP now stands at 6 percent, up from less than 1 percent before the financial crisis. If public debt is not lowered back to pre-crisis levels, says the IMF, economic growth could decline by half a percentage point annually. That is bad for the world and bad for the United States which is just barely clinging to an economic recovery; a recovery built on cheap money. But how long money will stay cheap is anyone’s guess.

In the not too distant future the U.S. dollar, once the Zeus of all currencies, may topple from the mountain top. Greece has a budget deficit of 13.6 percent of its GDP. Meanwhile the U.S. has a budget deficit of 9.3 percent, and that’s only for this year. In the coming years America’s deficit could easily exceed Greece’s number.

Furthermore, Greece’s national debt now totals 115 percent of its GDP. U.S. national debt totals “only” 85 percent of GDP, but it is expected to reach 140 percent of GDP in the next two decades.

But what the Mexican debt crisis taught us in the 1980s and what Greece is teaching us now is that the bond markets will never allow the U.S. to reach its debt targets.

According to Dr. Edward Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, "There’s a tremendous clash between the bond vigilantes on one side and reckless governments on the other. The bond vigilantes are trying to establish some fiscal and monetary law and order."

You might recall Yardeni from the 1980s when he correctly predicted the Latin debt bomb, the explosion which helped trigger the 1987 stock market crash. Three decades ago Yardeni pointed out that, "If the fiscal and monetary authorities won’t regulate the economy, the bond investor will." Like Homer’s Cassandra, Yardeni has a talent for correctly predicting tragedies but is cursed because no one will believe him.

Just how bad is this crisis which was spawned in Greece, the cradle of learning and democracy? According to Citigroup’s top economist, Willem Buiter, with the exception of wartime, “the public finances in the majority of advanced industrial countries are in a worse state today than at any time since the industrial revolution. Restoring fiscal balance will be a drag on growth for years to come.”

Still, the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve continue to believe they can engineer yet another bailout. In fact, the Fed has opened up new lines of credit to the European Central Bank as part of the European rescue package.

“We didn’t do so out of any special love for Europe,” said Narayana Kocherlakota, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “We’re American policy makers, and we make decisions to keep the American economy strong.” Yet the Fed president admits that the liquidity problems abroad could soon haunt U.S. financial markets and the recovery itself.

The Federal Reserve and Federal government have already borrowed trillions of dollars to derail the wave of deflation that began in early 2008. To do that and to spark a recovery the Fed pushed short-term interest rates towards zero, the lowest levels America has seen since the 1930s. In other words the U.S. government has shot its bolt. The U.S. simply can’t hit the “re-flate” button again without a major outcry from the bond market.

Gold On Record Run
The knee-jerk reaction from the euro crisis has been for money to go into U.S. Treasuries. But the chart below shows the monumental increase in 10-year Treasury bond yields since the beginning of 2009. Investors have demanded a higher return from Uncle Sam as the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve have been hell-bent on bailing out the U.S. economy with trillions of new dollars.

10-Year Treasury Yield

U.S. loans to buoy European central banks will only accelerate the bond markets woes, and with rising interest rates on the horizon, we can anticipate a bear market. The computer-glitch stock market meltdown that happened earlier this month portends to an American tragedy.

With the euro at four-year lows one might be expecting the greenback to soar. Instead there has been only modest strength in the dollar and record highs for gold. At this writing London gold is trading just under $1,200 per ounce. In November 2008, London gold was $713.50, so the Midas metal has had quite a run since then. In fact gold was $810 when I first recommended it to you last August. Still I believe gold is headed much higher.

Action To Take
Expect short-term strength in the U.S. Treasury market as we go into summer. If you own bonds, use this rally to liquidate them. Higher interest rates are looming and so is a bond market meltdown. Meanwhile, continue to accumulate physical gold. I think $1,500 gold is a realistic target by the end of this year.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

P.S.—I thought the quote at the top by Homer is applicable to the U.S. dollar. I am interested to see if you agree.
—JM

Supreme Injustice

“Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.” President William Howard Taft

President Barack Obama is covering all the bases when it comes to forming his Supreme Court, an institution which will leave his stamp on America long after he has left office.

Gay rights activists are quick to laud the President’s latest pick for the high court, Solicitor General Elena Kagan. The nomination of Kagan comes one year after Obama’s first selection for the court, Sonia Maria Sotomayor. Latinos loudly applauded that nomination. Gays are downright giddy over Obama’s decision to replace John Paul Stevens with Kagan.

Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund’s executive director, believes Kagan holds “a strong position” in opposing the military’s ban on gays.

During her confirmation as solicitor general last year it was revealed that Kagen had tried to bar military recruiters from the campus of Harvard Law School while she was dean. Even though Kagan was part of the Clinton administration she was never a fan of Clinton’s policy of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” It seems that this academic nominee (she has never been a judge and she has only practiced law for two years) believes that being openly gay is good, even if it impedes national security as many in the armed forces believe.

Kagan told the Judiciary Committee last year that in her view, “the exclusion of individuals from basic economic, civic, and political opportunities of our society on the basis of race, nationality, sex, religion, and sexual orientation (is injust).”

With control of 59 votes in the Senate, Democrats should be able to win confirmation. However, if all 41 Republicans vote together, they could block a vote with a filibuster.

Joe Solmonese, Human Rights Campaign president, said Kagan’s selection fulfills Obama’s promise to promote “diversity” on the court. There can be little doubt of that. Last week The Washington Post asked in a headline: “Can men still be appointed to the Supreme Court?”

If we assume that the pool of possible nominations includes equal numbers of equally qualified men and women, then the nomination of two women consecutively has a one in four chance of occurring. But the kicker for Kagan getting nominated is her close personal relationship with the President. In fact Obama introduced the former Harvard Law School dean as "my friend."

"Elena is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost legal minds,” Obama said. “She’s an acclaimed legal scholar with a rich understanding of Constitutional law. She is a former White House aide, with a life-long commitment to public service and a firm grasp of the nexus and boundaries between our three branches of government."

I don’t know what having a firm grasp on the nexus and boundaries means, but it sounds like something that would be bandied about at a Mensa meeting. And while I will never be invited to that group of geniuses, I am smart enough to understand that when it comes to consolidating power, Obama resembles leaders from Caesar Chavez to Fidel Castro; friends come first.

The never-married 50-year-old Kagan is not only a close friend to the President but also shares many of his ideals. Kagan clerked for one of the Supreme Court’s staunchest liberals, Thurgood Marshall, and was a research assistant for one of the greatest legal defenders of gay civil rights, Laurence Tribe. She was also a staff member on the Dukakis for President Campaign in 1988. The defeat of Dukakis set back gay rights for 20 years, but with Obama and now Kagan, another minority is set to take swift strides.

As MSNBC pointed out, “Kagan has the chance to extend Obama’s legacy for a generation.” And every bit as alarming as that is the likelihood that Kagan is a supporter of even greater executive powers.

The Court’s Lurch To The Left
In 1952 Supreme Court clerk and later Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that the Court should not strike down Jim Crow laws. Rehnquist also said that Brown v. Board of Education should not find that minorities do not have a constitutional right to the same treatment as the majority.

Rehnquist wrote: "To the argument made by Thurgood Marshall [in Brown v. Board of Education] that a majority may not deprive a minority of its Constitutional right, the answer must be made that while this is sound in theory, in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the Constitutional rights of the minority are."

I wonder if it was not Rehnquist’s ideas that were sound only in theory. It seems less and less that it is the majority deciding its future. Consider the immigration law passed in Arizona, SB 1070. A CBS poll showed that 60 percent of American’s don’t think the new law—which is bound to include profiling—is too extreme.

Yet our President has announced opposition. Obama held a reception at the White House on May 5—Cinco de Mayo Day—where he denounced Arizona’s new immigration law. Obama announced that he has instructed his administration, "To closely monitor the new law in Arizona, [and] to examine the civil rights and other implications that it may have."

Furthermore, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the Justice Department is deliberating whether to file suit against the Arizona law, either on the grounds that it violates the Supremacy Clause or Federal civil rights laws. But during a Congressional hearing May 13, Holder admitted he had not even read the law.

It doesn’t look like Arizona will back down and, in the wake of the past 17 months in office, it appears doubtful that Obama will either.

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas) accuses the Obama administration of doing more to secure the borders of foreign countries than its own and called for immediate action to reverse that.

“We want the National Guard to be armed and defend themselves if necessary and to assist the border patrol and local law enforcement," said Poe.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer—who signed the bill—has said Arizona must act because Washington had failed to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico. Arizona is home to nearly half a million illegal immigrants and is the nation’s busiest gateway for illegals and drugs.

Yet Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said that Republicans are using the issue to divide the country. "We’re here to say it’s time to deal with comprehensive reform realistically and begin the process of healing this country.”

For things to work out for Grijalva, the city of Phoenix may have to live up to its name and raise the dead. According to Brian Ross of ABC News, “Phoenix, Arizona has become the kidnapping capital of America, with more incidents than any other city in the world outside Mexico City, and over 370 cases last year alone.”

In the end expect this dispute to land on the steps of the Supreme Court; a once non-partisan institution that Obama is trying to stack with minority rights activists such as Sotomayor and Kagan. While Latinos and gays may rest easy because of Obama’s choices for the Supreme Court, Americans living in Phoenix will not. That is bad news for the majority of Americans whose families built this great country.

Yours in good times and bad,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Obama’s New Deal

"Now, what we’re doing, I want to be clear, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money." President Barack Obama, April 28, 2010, (emphasis added).

President Barack Obama went to Wall Street last month to champion his cause for financial regulation. Fresh from his healthcare victory the President seems itching for another fight.

Meanwhile the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced fraud charges against Goldman Sachs, arguing that the firm had committed fraud in structuring and selling its debt obligations. This has Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) raising troubling questions.

Issa has asked the inspector general of the SEC to investigate the timing of the announcement. He believes the Obama Administration is going after Goldman Sachs just as Democrats are pushing for passage of financial reform legislation in the Senate.

According to Issa, “[This has] fueled suspicion that the Commission … may have engaged in unauthorized disclosure or discussion of Commission proceedings in order to affect the debate over financial regulatory legislation currently pending.”

Last week Goldman Sachs leaked a story that it doesn’t want to engage in a legal battle with the SEC. The Wall Street Journal quoted one senior executive at the firm as saying "We can’t be going to war with the SEC." Goldman understands it needs to choose its battles.

I should have done that better when I took up boxing at the Lilac City Boxing Club. One day I was on a roll, landing a combination on my sparring partner, a man who had once fought Frank Bruno for the World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight title. After connecting with a final punch I stepped back. The grizzled old fighter shrugged his hulking shoulders and then gave me a million dollar grin.

“My turn,” said Harvey Steichen.

A few years later I started working for what was then Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash. I quickly learned that everyone associated with Wall Street was interested in two things—making money and keeping regulators at bay.

One day the Men in Black arrived. As two SEC field agents marched into our offices, one of the old timers whispered to me, “Here comes the Gestapo.” A few weeks later, two up-and-coming brokers were summarily dismissed. I never knew their crime but I understood they were fired because of a judgment by the Federal government. The rumor was they were charged with insider trading.

Don’t get me wrong. I hate Wall Street. After six months at the brokerage company I decided I either had to jump out of my eighth story office or quit.

I think many of you probably feel the same kind of disdain for high finance, especially after learning that big banks deceived their clients into buying risky mortgage investments while they themselves ran side bets that the investments would go bust.

When the house of cards collapsed two years ago it was Washington’s argument that major investment houses simply had to be bailed out. In that aftermath, scores of executives tucked away multi-million dollar bonuses, much of it courtesy of Joe and Jill Taxpayer.

But now the Obama administration is demanding its pound of flesh. According to the The Independent, “This [the fight with Goldman Sachs[ has become the greatest battle between the American government and a private firm since President Franklin Roosevelt took on the ‘House of Morgan’ in the 1930s.”

Illustration of Barack Obama taking notes from Franklin D. RooseveltObama has stylized himself as a New Deal President the likes of FDR. A couple of months ago Obama denounced “fat-cat bankers” for rewarding themselves bonuses after being saved by government bailouts. “Shameful,” he said. In fact, this President sounds much like FDR, who in 1936 denounced Wall Street for its “financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking,” and who fueled his fight by saying: “I welcome their hatred.”

I hate Wall Street, but I hate big government even more. The last thing America needs is another FDR. The Billings Gazette recently summed up that Presidency: “FDR closed all the banks, removed the gold standard for the dollar, created innumerable government agencies, established the Tennessee Valley Authority, instituted a minimum wage for workers, encouraged unionization of industry, created the Social Security system, initiated public housing programs and allowed the national debt to soar into the billions. In addition, he attempted to pack the Supreme Court.”

Under Obama’s New Deal the United States has reversed the course set by Ronald Reagan, a man who brought a tidal wave of deregulation and with it, unprecedented economic prosperity. Under Obama’s command the U.S. is veering hard to the Left, a destination that will allow less freedom while creating bigger government. And oh yes, he is also packing the Supreme Court.

“The nanny state is smothering us all,” wrote the Ukiah Daily Journal. “The economic financial crisis which is upon us is being deliberately made worse (or at least being deliberately caused to continue) in order to be used as one excuse to turn the U.S. into a socialist state. If you don’t believe this, stay tuned, because you have been overwhelmed by the lies and myths.”

If you’re like me you’re probably feeling staggered by the Obama onslaught. I urge you to hang tough and stay in the fight. In the words of Lou Holtz, the former football coach at Notre Dame, “We have to fight for our freedom.”

Action To Take
There is a tidal wave of regulation coming down the pike and not just for the investment banks. Big oil is also going to get clobbered in the wake of the Gulf Coast disaster. And the Federal government won’t stop there. I expect that Washington will unroll miles of red tape on publicly traded companies. The result will raise the cost of doing business. That’s a profit killer, something that Wall Street hasn’t yet awakened to. Tighter regulations, growing inflation and rising interest rates will unleash a raging bear market. Therefore, I urge you to stay liquid with cash and/or short-term Treasury bills, physical precious metals and a sprinkling of gold and energy stocks.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

A Crude Coincidence—The Gulf Oil Spill Works Out Well For The Greens

"The end justifies the means.”Machiavelli
 
Fact: Deep water oil platforms don’t just blow up. As the centerpieces of projects that cost billions of dollars, they are designed not to.

Fact: Just before 10 a.m. on April 20 a Transocean rig called the Deepwater Horizon 40 miles south of Venice, La., exploded and caught fire as it was working a well for BP.

Fact: Two weeks later as much as 300,000 barrels of crude oil have spread into the Gulf of Mexico, the bulk of it hitting the shores of Louisiana. More than 2 million barrels could spill out before the well is finally capped making this disaster worse than the Exxon Valdez catastrophe which spilled 400,000 barrels of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989.

Fact: This giant gulf oil spill happened less than three weeks after President Barack Obama announced he would allow offshore drilling.

Fact: Few in the mainstream media or in the federal government are putting a spotlight on to what caused the explosion that killed 11 men. Rather, their focus has been on what it will do to the environment.

Fact: The Greens have all the ammunition they need to permanently suspend future offshore oil production as well as drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, such as the oil-rich Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

On April 30 Obama suspended plans to expand offshore oil drilling. That same day, during the PBS talk show, The McLaughlin Group, Eleanor Clift made this prediction: “The catastrophic oil spill in the gulf will silence Sarah Palin’s, ‘Drill, Baby, Drill.’”

That’s the aim of the Greens. Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club,said on Saturday: “Taking a temporary break from offshore drilling is an important step, but it’s not enough. We need to stop new offshore drilling for good, now. And then we need an aggressive plan to wean America from dirty fossil fuels in the next two decades.”

What My Deep Throat Says About This Deep Disaster
While I have been around plenty of oil rigs in my life I am hardly an expert. But I have friends who are. One of them is Ryan who is an oil field technician for one of the original Seven Sisters here in Calgary. I met with him last Friday to talk about the Transocean accident and what might have triggered the explosion.

“It probably comes down to one of two things,” said Ryan. “The blowout preventer failed to operate and seal the well. With the computers they have on deep ocean wells that shouldn’t happen; there is always the possibility of human error.” He looked around the room and then confided: “And of course it could be sabotage.”

The blowout preventer is a set of valves that connects the pipe from underground to the surface and it is used to control excessive pressure that might go further up the line. Valves can burst from either high-pressure oil, or oil mixed with gas which travels to the surface unexpectedly. That can start a catastrophic fire if sparked by the electrical gear on the platform. It should be noted that oil services contractor Halliburton is denying that its workers might have caused the accident.

It has already been alleged that Halliburton improperly cemented the well. Cementing is a process used to fill the gap between the drilled hole and the casing that brings oil and gas up out of the ground.

There has been speculation on whether the sealing process had been completed before the blast occurred. Yet the company insists that its workers had finished the cementing operation 20 hours before the rig went up in flames.

Perhaps It Was Just A Coincidence
The Wall Street Journal wrote on Friday: “Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.” To its credit, the WSJ is one of the few to report on the question of what caused the explosion.

While the Exxon Valdez accident immediately focused on the cause of the spill and the role that ship’s captain Joseph Jeffrey Hazelwood played, there is so far scant information and inquiry into what triggered the explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon.

The Greens were furious with Obama for allowing offshore drilling. It may be a happenstance that the Deepwater Horizon blew up three weeks later. But given the history of the Green movement I think it is worth considering that environmental extremists could have had a hand in this accident.

I had been thinking along these lines this past Friday when I got an email from my editor asking if I thought something was fishy and would I like to write about it.

I said yes, even though I was a bit apprehensive that you folks might consider me a reactionary or even a nut. And while I am not a big listener of Rush Limbaugh, I was encouraged when I read he was thinking along the same lines.

"Obviously the regime (the Obama Administration) is open to the idea that this is not an accident,” said Limbaugh. "The original Earth Day 40 years ago was inspired by the river in Cleveland catching fire. Forty years later, the day before Earth Day this year, the gulf is on fire. Coincidence? The jury is still out."

Love him or loathe him, what Limbaugh says is backed up by the actions of the White House which sent Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to the site. Napolitano has declared this is “an incident of national significance." Then on Sunday Obama visited the Gulf Coast to bolster efforts to control the spill.

The Dark Side Of The Greens
Of course I don’t know that eco-terrorists sparked this catastrophe. But I do know you don’t call a cop unless you think there might have been a crime. And some extremists in the Green movement are most certainly criminals.

The Federal government considers eco-terrorism a greater threat to America than Osama bin Laden and his organization al Qaida. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): “Eco-terrorism is the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally oriented, sub-national group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature."

Guilty or not I have no doubt that the extremists in the environmental movement must be celebrating the Gulf Coast crisis. A recent poll by the WSJ asked: “Have your views on offshore drilling changed after the oil spill off the Louisiana coast?” The response by its conservative readership was a resounding, yes.

We may never know what caused the explosion that sunk the Deepwater Horizon. What we do know is that 11 men lost their lives and there is going to be untold suffering to the wildlife and on the people of America’s Gulf Coast. We can also expect this catastrophe will do to deep water oil exploration what Chernobyl did to nuclear energy. I expect new offshore drilling to cease for years, perhaps even decades. That sets up a future of greater dependence on Arab oil imports and higher energy prices.

Action To Take: Expect plenty of blame to go around and three companies are going to get hammered: BP (NYSE: BP, $52.15), Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG, $72.32) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL, $30.65). If you own shares in these stocks liquidate them immediately. If you own energy mutual funds make sure that part of your fund does not own these three stocks. If they do, sell the fund. What is ironic is that over the past few years BP has bragged that its name no longer stands for British Petroleum but rather Beyond Petroleum. It looks as if they might turn out to be right.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Bowing To China: What It Means To Our Future

“Let China sleep, for when China awakes she will shake the world.” Napoleon Bonaparte.
                                         
American greed and extravagance has awakened China, and an eastern shadow is being cast on an indebted and divided America. At stake is our economic future.

It seems hard to believe but in just two generations, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, America has crumpled from world kingpin to global has-been. In fact this month President Obama bowed before Paramount Leader of China, Hu Jintao, at the nuclear security summit.

Little wonder our President defers to the Chinese leader. The Treasury Department’s monthly Treasury International Capital report was just released and it shows China with $877.5 billion in long-term Treasury debt. Even worse, the Obama administration needs the Chinese government to buy part of the estimated $2.4 trillion in Treasury debt that Washington must sell off this year.

The Obama administration is praying that the Communists will waddle-up and buy hundreds of more billions of dollars in Uncle Sam IOUs. So far things are not panning out. In February China trimmed its holdings of United States Treasury debt by 1.3 percent, the fourth consecutive decline.

Unless China antes up the recovery will crash and burn. Without robust foreign demand for U.S. Treasuries, interest rates that Washington pays to keep the country solvent will soar.

Business Week reported last week that U.S.-China relations are strained on several fronts, including Chinese censorship, the value of the Yuan, the Copenhagen climate conference, even Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. The final point underscores just how little leverage America has—the spiritual leader had to be shown out the back door of the White House, sidestepping trash, for fear that the Chinese might be angered.

Nixon’s Biggest Blunder
Short of sacrificing Taiwan and living in economic servitude, there may be no pleasing China. According to The Daily Caller, “In either public or private, China will not take orders from the U.S. or anyone else. Not only has Obama’s rhetorical magic not worked on China, he has received a public dressing down by Chinese officials. It was simply a reminder of new global realities. Ultimately, no one will tame China.”

It is a far cry from the world we knew 40 years ago. History may yet declare that Richard Nixon’s worst blunder was not Watergate but his awakening of China. When Nixon played his China card in 1972 the U.S. had no diplomatic relations, no embassy; not even an established route of communication with China. But in less than two generations the Soviet Union, America’s then rival, crumbled. Beijing has filled the vacuum. Today it is our largest creditor and it is becoming an unprecedented economic colossus.

This year China’s gross domestic product (GDP) will top $5 trillion, making it the world’s second-largest economy behind only the U.S. In fact, China has eclipsed Japan five years sooner than was forecast. According to The New York Times, China has also surpassed Japan in having the biggest trade surplus and foreign currency reserves, as well as the highest steel production. China has even overtaken Japan as the world’s largest automobile producer.

C.H. Kwan, a senior fellow at the Nomura Institute of Capital Market Research, left China in the late 1970s to capture the magic that was Japan. Today he believes he got it all wrong. Based on current growth and currency trends, Kwan forecasts that the Chinese economy will surpass the United States by 2039. And that date could move up to 2026 if China lets its currency appreciate by a mere 2 percent a year.

“We’re no longer talking about China making lots of shoes,” said Kwan. “China is about to leave everyone behind in a big way.”

In terms of wealth and power China is becoming what America use to be. China’s GDP grew a shade less than 12 percent in the first quarter of this year. Even more impressively, inflation remained low during the quarter, up just over 2 percent. Strip away food prices, which have jumped because of a major drought, and inflation would almost be flat.

What makes China’s accomplishment so remarkable is that 40 years ago the nation was impoverished. An estimated 90 million Chinese died under Chairman Mao’s rule, making him thrice as an effective killer of his people than was Joseph Stalin. China has polished up its image on the world stage with dalliances like hosting the Olympic Games, but Mao’s grand ambitions are very much intact.

According to the April 15, FX Street.com: “China is out for world domination.”

No Tickey No Money
China’s military may not yet challenge the U.S., but Beijing wields the world’s most powerful weapon—credit. China’s foreign reserves, the world’s largest, rose to a new high of $2.45 trillion at the end of March, up a whopping 25 percent from a year earlier.

It wasn’t until 2006, or 30 years after Mao’s death, that China accumulated its first $1 trillion in foreign reserves. Yet by last April that amount had doubled to $2 trillion and by the end of this year Beijing may hold in its hands $3 trillion in foreign reserves. If Obama gets his way, $1 trillion of that sum will be in liquid Treasury instruments. All that money has a lot of strings.

Last month Premier Wen Jiabao, China’s top economic official, lectured Washington to take "concrete steps" to reassure Treasury investors. Keep in mind the irony: Jiabao, a communist, is demanding that the Obama administration rein in big government spending and preserve the greenback’s integrity. While Obama bows publicly to Beijing, he appears oblivious to their demands on curbing spending. The consequences of this will be horrendous.

Our future boils down to Washington’s insatiable demand for more money. Earlier this month Commodity Online reported that seven U.S. states are in worse financial condition than Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. “Shelter may prove hard to find. With a $3.83 trillion budget, a $12.3 trillion federal government debt, a $1.35 trillion 2010 budget deficit and $63 trillion in unfunded liabilities, the fiscal condition of the U.S. has come into question and foreign interest in U.S. Treasuries has declined.”

chart

As the graph above shows, rates on 10-year Treasuries are now touching on 4 percent, twice as high as they were 16 months ago. If China continues to withdraw from weekly multi-billion dollar Treasury auctions—or worse yet starts to sell some of its Treasury holdings—interest rates will soar. Given the vastness of America’s borrowing needs I would not be surprised to see Treasury yields double again over the next 12 months. That will damn the recovery and kill the bull market in Big Board Stocks. So far only Obama has been bowing down to China, but unless he gets a grip on federal spending, we will all have to get in the prone position.

Action To Take: Sell any and all bonds other than three-month Treasury bills. Lock in interest rates wherever possible. Don’t buy into the bull market on Wall Street. It is as hollow as a fortune cookie.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Fear and Loathing: Why It’s Bullish for Gold

“I hate to say this, but this place is getting to me. I think I’m getting the Fear.” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

First it was Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. We had to invade Iraq. Never mind that the United States had a no fly zone over the country and had practically destroyed the Republican Guard; that Iraq had no effective way to deliver such weapons or that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the State Department didn’t think such weapons even existed.

Then in 2008 the Washington fear machine was at work again. The White House, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department were screaming that the world was falling into another Great Depression.

The latest End of Days is a prophecy from Hillary Clinton. At the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last week, the U.S. Secretary of State said that terrorists like al-Qaida pose a nuclear threat. It is all part of the Obama administration’s plan to convince the American people that al-Qaida is going nuclear.

According to journalist Emily Gertz, “Fear of the terrorist has been used for the past several years to induce Americans to accept an increasingly authoritarian government and the dilution of our civil liberties.”

It is not just the fear of terrorists that President Obama and his Liberal elite are using to expand their sphere of influence. It is FEAR of everything: the jobs we might lose, the food we eat; even the water we drink and the air we breathe.

In his essay, The Politics of Fear, Alex Gourevitch writes that fear mongering is part and parcel of the environmental movement. “Environmentalism is a left-wing politics of fear because it rests on the deeply fearful idea that only an overweening threat to our physical and collective health… Threats to the very conditions of life, rather than social controversies over power and distribution, come to motivate political engagement—an engagement that presumes setting to one side inequality and unfreedom (sic) as the central categories of political contestation.”

A Gentler Time
America has vastly changed from when FDR proclaimed: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

No doubt The Age of Fear began with 9/11. Before, Washington did its best to keep a lid on anxieties. The Crash of ’87 is an example.

I was driving to work and the radio announcer said: “The Dow Industrials are currently down 325 points.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I thought. The Dow couldn’t be down that much. Either the announcer was stupid or he was playing a prank.

But it was true. The stock market was plunging. It was Black Monday and the Dow plummeted 508 points, or 23 percent, to 1,739. Half a trillion dollars in wealth had just been erased. Over the next few days the world witnessed the Dow’s fall from over 2,600 to 1,700.

What I remember most about the Crash of ’87 was the Federal government’s response to it. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan not only provided liquidity for the banks but urged calm and told the world that America’s economy was “fundamentally sound”. It was a message reiterated by House Speaker Jim Wright, President Ronald Reagan and U.S. Treasury Secretary James Baker. It was our Federal government doing its damndest to reduce panic; to stabilize a dangerous situation.

The stock market crash of ’08 brought an entirely different response from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, as explained by Andrew Ross Sorkin in his bestseller, Too Big To Fail. According to Sorkin, the leadership of the Fed and Treasury opted for a novel strategy to get Congress to ante up half a trillion dollars to bail out Wall Street—fear.

“This is only going to work if you scare the sh** out of them.”

That had been Jim Wilkinson’s advice for Paulson before he and Bernanke left to meet with the congressional leadership at Nancy Pelosi’s office that evening. By Wilkinson’s reckoning, unless they could convince Congress that the world was literally going to come to an end, they would never receive approval for a $500 billion bailout package for Wall Street.

History’s Lessons About Fanning Fears
Washington had struck on something that tyrants have known for centuries—that fanning fear makes a populace compliant to just about anything.

A few years before the Wall Street bailout House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned of impending danger out of Iraq: “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology.”

Then in the autumn of 2008 Pelosi did a flip-flop; first opposing and then embracing what had become a $700 billion bailout of the financial markets. In the end Pelosi and two presidents argued that without the taxpayer bailout our entire financial system faced collapse.

No doubt Pelosi will stand shoulder to shoulder with Secretary Clinton on the latest great fear, nuke toting mullahs. The real question is what is Pelosi and the Obama administration really selling? The answer is submission—the handing over of our liberty—in the name of national defense, the economy and the environment.

Of course pedaling fear is nothing new. Ancients like Alexander did it. So too has the Catholic Church, Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler. The difference is that America’s leaders once allayed our fears. Today they incite them. FDR was wrong, what we really need to fear is the fear-makers themselves.

Washington’s New Strategy Will Send Gold Soaring
America’s leaders might not be less moral than those before them (I will let you decide). What has changed is that Washington once had a vested interest in quieting fear. It was how government supported the once mighty U.S. dollar.

What is painfully evident is that over the past decade the Federal government has been intent on getting its way, the dollar be damned. And it certainly has been. The U.S. dollar index, a measurement against a basket of other currencies, has fallen by one third. During the same period the price of gold has risen fourfold.

Action To Take: Expect Washington to fan fears on everything from the environment to the economy, even at the expense of the dollar. That means you should diversify out of most dollar instruments and buy physical precious metals. I urge you to store 1-ounce gold and silver Eagles and 1-ounce platinum rounds for your safekeeping.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Sticker Shock—The Taxing of America

We are being taxed into oblivion. No, income taxes have not risen for most of us, at least not yet. Yet slowly and surely the tax vice is closing in. It is all part and parcel of President Obama’s run and gun break towards socialism.

Of course you won’t find newsmakers in agreement with your humble reporter, at least not within the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal or on the front page of The New York Times. Not because they are corrupt or leftists. Rather because Obama has done too good a job in obscuring the truth about the American economy and his own ambitions.

Take the energy situation. No sooner had the White House won modest acclaim for offshore drilling than they did an about-face and announced their intention to tighten their grip on one of the few remaining bastions of freedom—the open road.

This month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set new regulations covering vehicle efficiency. The new rule requires that United States cars and light trucks meet an average fuel-economy standard of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

Dying To Be Green
Administration officials say manufacturers can meet the targets mostly with existing technology and without drastically altering consumers’ choices of vehicles.

There is just one catch; to meet the EPA’s new standard average, new-vehicle prices will rise by an additional $1,100 between now and 2016. It is just further evidence that going green is neither cheap nor easy. In fact it turns out to be a killer.

A report produced last summer by the Obama administration’s own National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) underscored that while clap-trap cars get better gas mileage, occupants are more likely to die in accidents. The fatality rate in small cars is twice that of larger cars. By NHTSA’s cold calculations an additional 493 Americans will die each year. It seems that the big wigs in Washington can live with this since everything from the presidential limousine to cabinet staff cars are going to remain big and, oh yes, gasoline powered. It’s a policy of: “Save a tree, kill a driver.”

The EPA’s mandate is fraught with other problems. Detroit is hanging on by the skin of its teeth in large part thanks to the billions of dollars in federal bailouts ($50 billion to General Motors alone). Despite all that help, membership in the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) has hit a post-World War II low. Last week it was reported that UAW had 355,191 members at the end of 2009. That was down 18 percent from the year before and leaves the union with less than a quarter of the membership it had in 1979.

You would think with the recession still ongoing America could ill afford to make cars more expensive. Then again, the Federal government probably has contingency plans for another stimulus package, one that will give Washington even a greater say over the economy.

Stall Baby Stall
Another industry not yet out of the woods is petroleum. Obama’s offshore oil drilling proposal has not spurred North American oilmen to roll out the oil rigs. Executives in the industry I have talked to are sceptical of a plan that is rife with challenges and chockfull of regulatory hoops.

Consider the Atlantic Coast. A previously planned lease sale off the Virginia coast will go forward, but not until 2012 and only then if it passes review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Furthermore, public meetings will be held on all affected coastal areas this summer to set up Environmental Impact Studies. They will take at least a year. If that goes well then there will be a three month public comment period. Then more analyses and finally—yes finally—an impact statement sent to the Secretary of the Interior. And if the Greens don’t like what the secretary has to say they can go to court. As you can see, the red tape is certain to stretch further than the wells themselves.

Meanwhile, drilling along the ripe west coast and the plum parts of Alaska—regions that Congress approved in 2008—are now off limits.

If you think that petroleum’s importance will soon be diminished by Obama’s Green Revolution, a story out of Texas should give you pause.

According to the April 5 issue of Texas Watchdog, “If the people of Bedford, Texas, are still borrowing whatever they are calling books in 72 years, they may find themselves in the public library on the very day the energy saved by the library’s planned solar power system finally equals the cost to build it.”

I don’t know about you, but I will only be 124 when solar power like that at the Bedford Library starts paying dividends. Things are even better for Austin Community College. The college, with the help of Federal stimulus dollars, can equip two of its campuses with solar energy. The savings commence in 2062!

So far 32 projects in Texas have been given stimulus dollars by the State Energy Conservation Office. They are 80 percent paid for by taxpayers. Texas alone has locked in $290 million Federal tax dollars for green energy programs via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

So far the Federal government has set aside $17 billion for the Department of Energy to waste money on things like solar power in Texas. Instead of lending money for things that might pay off during the next ice age the government should be selling offshore oil leases.

Rising Interest Rates Will Tax Everyone
Unfortunately we have bigger immediate problems than Washington’s lamebrain economic policies. The yield on 10-year Treasuries has just climbed above 4 percent. That is the highest rate in nearly a year. Rising Treasury yields portend to rising interest rates across the board. Rates will continue to climb as Treasury auctions are met with dwindling bids by investors near and far.

Little wonder the U.S. dollar continues to weaken (the Canadian Loonie is now trading above par) and the flood of new Treasury debt continues to swell. Last week alone the Treasury sold $82 billion (yes billion) in notes and bonds. At that pace the Treasury will add another $4 trillion to America’s already staggering $12.8 trillion debt by next spring.

The Democrats mismanagement of the economy on everything from industry to energy is certain to push interest rates higher—much, much higher.

Action To Take: Sell all debt instruments such as bonds and anything longer than a three-month Treasury bill. Use the funds to buy physical gold in the form of non-numismatic 1-ounce coins. Also, if you have to carry debt, say for a mortgage, lock in your interest rate. It is essential you rid you and your family of any variable interest rate loans.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report

Obamacare (Obamamania) And The Ghost Of Pierre Trudeau

"This is like deja vu all over again."
Yogi Berra

The dictum hit me like a shockwave: Buy into President Obama’s healthcare plan or be considered a criminal.

I had seen it before; a time when another young legal scholar became a sensation. Once he was in power a nation waited breathlessly for him to deliver a new age. He did so with guile and determination.

That man was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and decades after he left office Canada is still reeling.

Trudeaumania hit Canada in the mid-60s. Trudeau was then a young self-admitted Marxist and Harvard grad (yes Harvard!). He was as brilliant as he was ruthless, and he used his Red Guard elitists to sweep away the Liberal establishment. His first priority: healthcare and financial reform.

It didn’t hurt Trudeau that he was French Canadian. That allowed his supporters and the mainstream media to claim that political opponents were acting out of centuries old prejudices.

Trudeau’s liberal government called themselves “libertarian socialists” and their near dictatorial rule spanned from 1968 to 1984. During that time the Prime Minister set his sights on building what he called a “Just Society.”

“It seems evident to me that the regime of free enterprise has shown itself incapable of adequately resolving problems posed in education, health, housing, full employment, etc.,” said Trudeau.

He backed up his words by implementing the Canada Health Act. It prohibited user fees and extra billing by doctors. Yes, the Prime Minister wrote into law that doctors could only make what the government decided they should be paid. Many of Canada’s best doctors immigrated to the United States.

But Trudeau had loftier goals than just healthcare. He declared that intervention needed to be administered, "at the first sign of national economic weakness: to stimulate buying by putting more money in the hands of consumers.”

To that end Trudeau dictated that, “The State should distribute, extensively and resolutely, payments of all kinds: direct aid, unemployment insurance, agricultural assistance and various grants.”

Nationalization and the Suspension of Habeas Corpus
The Trudeau government launched a wave of nationalization programs. None were larger or more devastating than the National Energy Program (NEP) enacted in 1980.

The NEP was set up to remedy spiraling oil costs for Canadians by forcing oil companies operating in Western Canada to sell their petroleum at a discount to the Eastern provinces. It was nothing short of larceny. Eastern Canada received Western oil at a vast discount. It is estimated that the NEP cost Alberta $100 billion. It was such a blatant seizure of wealth that many of us in Alberta joined a secessionist political party.

The March 11, 2008, American Thinker sums up the Trudeau years: “(He) nationalized 25 percent of the petroleum industry and ruined the nascent boom economy of conservative Alberta. He ensured minority group representation at every level of government and instituted French language requirements in remote English-speaking corners of the country. He turned away from the United States and toward a "third way", vowing to make Canada more European, including the imposition metric system.”

Trudeau did all of that and much more.

In October 1970, the terrorist group FLQ kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross and Quebec’s Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte.

When CBC reporter Tim Ralfe asked him how far he was willing to go to stop the FLQ, Trudeau replied: "Just watch me."

Three days later, on Oct. 16, 1970, the Cabinet under Trudeau’s chairmanship advised the governor general to invoke the War Measures Act. The result was widespread deployment of Canadian Forces troops throughout Quebec and the suspension of habeas corpus, giving far-reaching powers of arrest to police.

The Trudeau government gave the appearance that martial law had been imposed. With far-reaching powers police arrested and detained, without bail, 497 individuals. All but 62 were later released without charges.

Four decades have passed since Trudeau imposed martial law on Canada and it has been 30 years since he nationalized Canada’s oil industry. But even south of the border the cataclysm still echoes. It gains a growing resonance as an American president unleashes his plans for a just society.

“The Obama election’s implications for us are possibly just as fundamental as was Trudeau’s for Canada,” said Michael Krauss, professor of Law at George Mason University. “What if we became Canada?”

I have bad news for Krauss; America is going down that same ruinous path with President Obama. It is hard to conclude otherwise, especially in light of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro declaring last month that the passage of American healthcare reform was "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama’s presidency.

It seems Obama is the kind of leader that Cuba can embrace. (Castro certainly had a close bond with Trudeau. Before he attended Trudeau’s state funeral in the autumn of 2000 he declared three days of mourning in Cuba.)

Just how far to the left President Obama will steer America remains to be seen, but the fact that America is seriously tilting to port is undeniable. Riding roughshod over the Constitution is just one step. Others include the president’s determination to grow government and redistribute the nation’s wealth.

Furthermore, it is naïve to think that Obama will be gone in less than three years. Many a Canadian, especially us out here in the West, believed Trudeau would be a one-term prime Minister. But Canadians got used to collecting Trudeau dollars. By the time he faced his first re-election in 1972 enough Canadians had bought into the prime Minister’s “Just Society” that he would go on to serve another 12 years.

Look for the Dollar to go Loonie
When Trudeau took office in 1968 the Canadian dollar was selling at par with its U.S. counterpart. By the time Trudeau left office in 1984 the Canadian dollar was selling for just 70 cents U.S. That was the Canadian dollar’s first significant devaluation in a century.

In fact, during the Trudeau years the Canadian dollar lost more than half of its purchasing power. Canadians got healthcare, but not one of them could say it was free.

The same scenario could unfold in the U.S., especially if the midterm elections don’t go the Republicans’ way next fall. It is amazing what the majority will sometimes accept and even encourage. I know because I have seen it happen. Not in Cuba… right here in Canada.

Action to take: Accumulate 1-ounce Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, American Gold Eagle and South African Gold Krugerrand coins.

Yours for real wealth and good health,

John Myers
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report