The Oil Embargo Anniversary Ritual

Article by

Mazhar Al-Shereidah

Were the phenomenon restricted to journalists it would be completely understandable, because after all it made front page news for the last quarter of 1973 and for years thereafter…

The “camel drivers” bringing the US to its knees!

The question acquired a completely different dimension when it became an approved historical fact included in the literature of highly respectable academics of the West. Others didn’t bother to check… and they followed suit.

Today, Petroanalysis begins offering to the users of our service “Facts & Figures” details on that episode in our Spanish language section, and soon we will offer, by request, a complete study on the subject.

The noble gentlemen bankers and politicians who mastered the art of CONSPIRACY met in a distant island in Sweden. The purpose of that meeting was not the conspiracy theory, rather it was what and how to save the Anglo Saxon financial system… it was falling to pieces.

August 15th 1971, does it mean anything to you dear reader?

Well, I was in Paris and used to change weekly some travelers cheques at the American Express counters.

On that day there was a long raw of costumers: only $50 per capita.

It was the end of the Bretton Woods system. The US dollar had lost its gold coverage. Soon thereafter, OPEC decided to calculate its income on the basis of a money basket.

Inflation together with the fall of the dollar had a devastating impact on the price in real terms.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is where you can find the roots of recycling! But recycling what?

All the money that oil exporting countries were unable to spend in their respective national economies as a result of the quadruplicating of their oil income.

But how on earth could prices be suddenly multiplied by four?

Well, dear Henry would arrange that with the Sha.

I must admit that I had already travelled from Vienna to Istanbul on the Orient Express, and heard of “They came to Baghdad”, both by Agatha Christie, yet my fantasy was not yet prepared to accept such diabolical conspiracies… and to be honest, I learned about it much later.

The sad part of the story is that, as an Arab, it was hard to swallow the fact that the so much popularized talk about The Oil Weapon was mere demagoguery.

How many generations were fooled? A question I can’t answer.

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