Peak Oil and the Financial Crisis

This is an interview from early 2008 – read it and see if it’s not dead on.  And if you dont know Charlie Maxwell, you should.  google him.  This is from energytechstocks.com

‘Dean of Oil Analysts’ Maxwell: Oil Crisis Will Lead to 10-Year Financial & Political Crisis

Posted: February 7, 2008

A growing chorus of voices is screaming for the United States to undertake a Manhattan Project-type program to wean America off its oil dependency. But as Charles T. Maxwell, the “dean” of Wall Street’s energy analysts, looks into the future, he deeply fears that Washington won’t do anything to head off the oil crisis he sees rapidly developing starting in 2010. He says this will make the financial crisis he fears even worse. Also, because Washington will be seen by angry voters (who will be paying $12 to $15 for a gallon a gas) as the cause of their “Nightmare on Main Street,” Maxwell sees the American political system being shaken to its roots.

Princeton and Oxford-educated Maxwell believes that if the Democrats are in power, their core constituencies – farmers, workers and intellectuals – will be ranged against one another, resulting in an impasse. If the Republicans are in power, he expects whatever “solution” they come up with to be politically untenable because it will be premised on people with money continuing to consume as before, with the have-nots expected to do without.

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Seeing no chance of a timely political response to America’s looming oil calamity, Maxwell, senior energy analyst at Weeden & Co., expects an oil-induced financial crisis to start somewhere in the 2010 to 2015 timeframe. He said that, unlike the recession the U.S. appears to be in today, “This will not be six months of hell and then we come out of it.” Rather, Maxwell expects this financial crisis to last at least 10 or 12 years, as the world goes through a prolonged period of price-induced rationing (eg, oil up to $300 a barrel and U.S. pump prices up to $15 a gallon), while waiting for new technologies that can wean nations off their oil dependency to take hold in the marketplace. (It will take time to change over the world’s one billion or so oil-consuming cars and trucks.)

As this combined oil and financial crisis worsens, Maxwell would not be surprised if the U.S. government started functioning the way it did in World War II, when the democratic dialogue was often put on hold so that unilateral decisions could be made by people given special powers. He described them as little tyrants who will be able to cut off debate, effectively weakening the democratic process. Not a pleasant prospect, Maxwell emphasized, but one that may be unavoidable in the oil-scarce world that’s coming.

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