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Raise the Voting Age, Not the Smoking Age – Ep. 461

VISIT PETER AT THE LAS VEGAS MONEY SHOW
May 13 – 15, 2019

Easter and Passover

I hope everybody enjoyed their Easter holiday, in fact, today is Easter Monday, so many parts of the world are still celebrating, including here in Puerto Rico.  We are still in the holiday of Passover, so hopefully everybody who celebrates Passover, myself included, is still enjoying that holiday. In fact, this year, the first night of Passover coincided with Good Friday; a rare occasion that unites the two religions.  We generally end up celebrating both.

Removal of Sanction Exemptions Drives Oil Prices Up

The markets have been quiet around the holidays.  The big story today in the markets was the price of crude oil – up about $1.60/barrel.  We’re now at $65.71 per barrel.  This is a new high for the year. Today, the catalyst was the Trump administration announcing that they would be withdrawing the exemptions that allow certain countries such as Japan, India, China – a number of countries currently buying oil from Ira. Now we’re saying no more exemptions.  They’re saying, if you buy oil from Iran, then you’re going to get sanctioned.  Generally, what that means is the U.S. is going to shut you out of access to the dollar-based financial system – wiring and using the resources of the Fed.  Considering that most of the world still transacts internationally in U.S. dollars is a very very serious punishment that the U.S. is able to dole out to any nation that does not do its bidding.

Effect on our Trading Partners?

Now, of course, this angers our trading partners who do not like being dictated to by the United States, they do not like the United States being able to tell them who they can and cannot do business with, and to punish them if they do not do what the United States says. Of course, this is all a function of the U.S. dollar being the reserve currency, which certainly gives nations like China, or like Russia or any other nation an incentive to try to move away from the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.