Kudos to my friend George Friedman and his crew at Stratfor. If you didn't see the article in this week's Barron's about Stratfor's analysis of the geopolitical risk premium built into oil prices, you missed a really good piece of work. You've probably heard Napoleon's quote that "Amateurs discuss strategy, and professionals discuss logistics." If you want a perfect example of how that quote plays out for the markets, take a look at Stratfor's article below. It's precisely the kind of sober, fundamental research that makes Stratfor my invaluable source for geopolitical intelligence.
No matter where you're looking at putting your money today, the impact of energy prices simply can't be overstated. The commodities trade, US and foreign equities, debt and interest rates, everything is being driven by energy prices right now. Whether you're trying to factor energy as a direct input into the price and consumption of manufactured goods or dealing with monetary policy's impact on the dollar and debt markets, you're implicitly making an energy trade.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're trying to trade today's markets without geopolitical intelligence, it's like trying to trade the juice futures market without a weather forecast. You can do it, but good luck to you.
George has kindly passed me the article that was the basis of the Barron's story. You'll notice right away that unlike many of the so-called experts out there, Stratfor doesn't airily dismiss underlying logistics in favor of handwaving. But better than taking my word for it, click here to get your own Stratfor Membership at the discounted rate for my readers. Every day you'll receive the same forecasts and intelligence guidance that I use to shape my thinking on where the world is going - and especially on energy prices.
John Mauldin, Editor
Outside the Box
Mediterranean Flyover: Telegraphing an Israeli Punch?
On June 20, The New York Times published a report saying that more than 100 Israeli aircraft carried out an exercise in early June over the eastern Mediterranean Sea and Greece. The article pointed out that the distances covered were roughly the distances from Israel to Iranian nuclear sites and that the exercise was a trial run for a large-scale air strike against…