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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 24-Oct-2014
24-Oct-14 World View -- Plane crash killing France's Total SA president jeopardizes Russia's oil contracts

Web Log - October, 2014

24-Oct-14 World View -- Plane crash killing France's Total SA president jeopardizes Russia's oil contracts

Indonesia's president calls for a 'global maritime axis'

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Nigeria's deal with Boko Haram collapses as more girls are abducted


Boko Haram abducts 40 more girls (Sun News)
Boko Haram abducts 40 more girls (Sun News)

When Nigeria's government last week announced a ceasefire deal with the terrorist group Boko Haram that would return to their homes 230 schoolgirls that had been abducted in April, many people noted that announcement was being made from one side only, and was not being confirmed by Boko Haram leaders. ( "18-Oct-14 World View -- Nigerians skeptical of deal with Boko Haram to release abducted schoolgirls")

It now turns out that the people who assumed that the government leaders were lying or mistaken were right. In a fresh attack on Tuesday on a different village, Boko Haram has abducted 40 more girls. Sun News Online (Nigeria)

Plane crash killing France's Total SA president jeopardizes Russia's oil contracts

Christophe de Margerie, 63, head of France's oil and gas giant Total (pronounced toe-TAL) SA was killed in a plane crash in Moscow on Monday evening. The corporate jet carrying Margerie collided with a snowplow on the runway as it was taking off in thick fog. Both French and Russians are investigating the crash to determine whether the cause was pilot error or negligence at the control tower.

De Margerie's death is considered a blow to Russia's economic interests because he was a very vocal supporter of Russia, and opposed European sanctions on Russia because of the latter's invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Just hours before his death, he said the following in a speech:

"In general Iím against sanctions. Iíve repeated this many times. You heard that. And Iíve become not very popular in my country as I was often blamed for promoting our own interests. I donít like sanctions as such because I think they are both unfair and counterproductive."

Total is currently participating in five large oil/gas projects in Russia, and theoretically they're now all in jeopardy, thanks to U.S. pressure, although analysts believe that Total will not completely abandon them.

For Russia's rulers, de Margerie seemed the embodiment of an ideal European partner and more: A French aristocrat and major oil CEO, anti-American in inclination, whose cooperation would force the European sanctions to collapse, and turn Russia's invasion of Ukraine into a total victory. His sudden tragic death is seen as a severe, devastating blow.

As a result, paranoid ultranationalists in Russia are seeing the death of de Margerie as a deliberate plot by opponents of Russia's president Vladimir Putin, presumably the United States. Russia Today and Russia/India Report and Jamestown

Indonesia's president calls for a 'global maritime axis'

Saying that Indonesia has been "neglecting our seas, oceans and bays," newly elected president Joko Widodo used his inaugural address to call for turning Indonesia into a "global maritime axis."

In view of Indonesia's naval buildup plans, in reaction to China's apparent plans to annex Indonesia's Natuna Islands by military force ( "21-Oct-14 World View -- Tensions grow with China over Indonesia's Natuna Islands"), Joko's call may well be viewed as a challenge to China.

According to Joko, in his inaugural address earlier this week:

"The seas, the oceans and the bays are our future, and we have been neglected our seas, oceans and bays.

This is the time to return to Jalesveva Jayamahe [Sanskrit for 'In the sea we will triumph']. ...

To build Indonesia into a great, prosperous and peaceful country we must possess the soul of Cakrawati Samudra [Sanskrit for a maritime nation with a strong merchant navy].

As the captain of the ship, I invite all Indonesians on board to move toward a prosperous nation. To all fishermen, laborers, farmers, meatball sellers, drivers, all the professionals -- I call on you to work hand in hand because this is the historical moment for us to work, work and work."

Meatball sellers?

Although Joko did not mention China, he's expected to announce a new cabinet post for coordinating maritime, natural resources and environmental affairs. Jakarta Globe

Wild Wall Street swings signal period of increased danger to investors

Wall Street pundits were thrilled on Thursday when the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 216 points, over 200 points for the third time in a week, after falling a similar amount in the preceding 6 days. These wild swings are also occurring for bond prices, oil prices and VIX (volatility index) prices. As I've been explaining, these wild swings signal a very dangerous time when a crash might be approaching. This would be the case if the amplitude of the swings continues to increase in the next few days, though not necessarily if the swings settle down. The S&P 500 price/earnings ratio (stock valuations) is at historic highs, indicating that the stock market is in a large bubble, and Generational Dynamics predicts that we're headed for a global financial panic and selloff. Reuters

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 24-Oct-14 World View -- Plane crash killing France's Total SA president jeopardizes Russia's oil contracts thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Oct-2014) Permanent Link
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