Today I'm sending you a piece on Ecuador's recent move to change the terms of its contracts with oil investors to keep more of the returns in the state. As we watch the world's energy market, political details like this are essential to know. The article explores the geopolitical implications of the move and the how key investors are likely to react.
This is nothing short of the real world with real consequences on the amount the meter reads to fill up your gasoline tank, your investments abroad and the overall worth of those dollar bills in your wallet right now. You don't get this kind of information on your typical media news networks. The truth is, this event is one you may not have heard about - not only do you have to keep your ears to the ground, you've got to know where to look.
For all things under the radar and overly important, my source is STRATFOR. They provide in-depth intelligence for those that need to know. Read their article, and join their email list to get weekly reports and special discounts on memberships.
The hottest media topic of the New Year is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza. And as I was reading the New York Times on Tuesday, I came across this sentence in one of the articles that was staggeringly truthful and more than a little unsettling in its implications for me as an investor.
"There are other ways to construe the context of this conflict of course. But no matter what, Israel's diplomats know that if journalists are given a choice between covering death and covering context, death wins."
Now, I'm NOT trying to get into a debate about the rights and wrongs of either side, but if you're an investor, and you're trying to make decisions about where this conflict might drive oil prices, for example, then context is everything. And according to the New York Times, if you're relying on journalists for context, forget it.
But you do have an alternative: my friend George Friedman's company, Stratfor, is the unbiased source for insightful analysis of global events. George and his team are all about context - and they provide it without bias or an agenda. If you're my age, you remember "Just the facts, ma'am." Whether it's the conflict in Gaza, the war between Georgia and Russia, or the mayhem and violence in Nigeria, when I need to know how geopolitics is going to hit energy prices, I turn to Stratfor.
I'm including today one of their analyses on the conflict: Iran: Using Oil as a Weapon, But Only Rhetorically. In it, Stratfor showcases its strengths: unbiased analysis--and in this case, of a situation mainstream media has barely even registered. George has kindly arranged a special offer for my readers. Click here, and you'll get 2 years of Membership for the price of 1 for just $349. Plus George is including a free copy of his new book coming out later this month (I'll be reviewing it for you in a couple weeks.)
Your all-about-context analyst,
This week in a Special Outside the Box we look at the discussion of alternative energy sources, specifically, ethanol derived from corn or sugarcane. The Stratfor piece discusses the economic implications of ethanol usage; geopolitical ramifications in terms of how current oil producers will be affected, comparable cost advantages between corn and sugarcane processing, and the advantages and disadvantages of ethanol production and consumption.
OPEC has expressed concern over capital allocated to alternative energy research, suggesting, implicitly threatening, that oil producers may be driven to lessen investment in vital infrastructure leading to supply constraints in the future and higher oil prices. If the assertions emanating from Brazilian government-funded researchers are confirmed to be true, the viability and time frame in which ethanol usage becomes economically feasible has made great strides, and shortened, respectively.
This Stratfor piece is an objective, thought provoking assessment of technology that will have drastic implications on our global economic and geopolitical landscape. Stratfor continues to provide insightful and pertinent research on economic and geopolitical events and their respective ramifications. Stratfor continues to provide significant savings to readers of Outside the Box, for further information please click here.
I hope you find this article enlightening and thought provoking as we continue to address the implications of alternative energy resources.