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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Euro, Black Gold and a call for “Death to US imperialism!”

Alert Focus: Mammon / The Third Seal / The Gates of Hades Revelation 6:5-6 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine." Matthew 4:8-10 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." Then Jesus *said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, `YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.' " Matthew 6:19-20 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;... Matthew 16:16-18 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Euro displaces dollar in bond markets THE FINACIAL TIMES of LONDON - By David Oakley and Gillian Tett in London - January 14 2007 -- The euro has displaced the US dollar as the world’s pre-eminent currency in international bond markets, having outstripped the dollar-denominated market for the second year in a row. The data consolidate news last month that the value of euro notes in circulation had overtaken the dollar for the first time. Outstanding debt issued in the euro was worth the equivalent of $4,836bn at the end of 2006 compared with $3,892bn for the dollar, according to International Capital Market Association data. Outstanding euro-denominated debt accounts for 45 per cent of the global market, compared with 37 per cent for the dollar. New issuance last year accounted for 49 per cent of the global total. That represents a startling turnabout from the pattern seen in recent decades, when the US bond market dwarfed its European rival: as recently as 2002, outstanding euro-denominated issuance represented just 27 per cent of the global pie, compared with 51 per cent for the dollar. The rising role of the euro comes amid growing issuance by debt-laden European governments. However, the main factor is a rise in euro-denominated issuance by companies and financial institutions. One factor driving this is that European companies are moving away from their traditional reliance on bank loans – and embracing the capital markets to a greater degree. Another is that the creation of the single currency in 1999 has permitted development of a deeper and more liquid market, consolidated by a growing eurozone. This has made it more attractive for issuers around the world to raise funds in the euro market. And, more recently, the trend among some Asian and Middle Eastern countries to diversify their assets away from the dollar has further boosted this trend. René Karsenti, executive president of ICMA, said: “It is the stable interest rates in Europe that have helped and the fact that [the euro] has strengthened and shown resilience.” Since the start of 2003, the European Central Bank’s main interest rate has fluctuated only 1.5 percentage points, ranging from a low of 2 per cent in the middle of that year to 3.5 per cent, its rate today. In comparison, the Fed funds rate, the main US interest rate, has fluctuated 4.25 percentage points, ranging from 1 per cent in the middle of 2003 to 5.25 per cent, its level today. The euro has also risen to trade around $1.30 against the dollar, from around parity three years ago. Sterling issuance has grown in the past three years, reinforcing its attraction as a niche currency among some investors. The yen, in comparison, has fallen out of favour. Overall, international capital markets have doubled in size in terms of bond issuance during the past six years. Iran, Venezuela agree to thwart ‘US domination’ ASSOCIATED PRESS - January 14, 2007 -- Iran, Venezuela agree to thwart ‘US domination’ Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said they were ready to spend billions of dollars (euros) financing projects in other countries to help thwart US domination. The anti-US Presidents whose efforts to extend their influence have alarmed Washington met Saturday in Venezuela’s capital, the first stop on Ahmadinejad’s tour of Latin America that will also see him visit newly elected leftist leaders in Nicaragua and Ecuador. The oil-rich nations had previously announced plans for a joint USD 2 billion fund to finance investments in Venezuela and Iran, but Chavez and Ahmadinejad said Saturday that the money would also be used for projects in friendly third countries. “It will permit us to underpin investments ... Above all in those countries whose governments are making efforts to liberate themselves from the (US) imperialist yoke,” said Chavez. “This fund, my brother,” Chavez said referring to Ahmadinejad, “Will become a mechanism for liberation.” “Death to US imperialism!” he said. Ahmadinejad called it a “very important” decision that would help promote “Joint cooperation in third countries,” especially in Latin American and African countries. It was not clear if the leaders were referring to investment in infrastructure, social and energy projects - areas that the two countries have focused on until now - or other types of financing. Before his meeting with Ahmadinejad, Chavez said in his state of the nation address that he had personally expressed hope to Thomas Shannon, head of the US State Department’s Western Hemisphere affairs bureau, for better relations between their two countries. Chavez said he spoke with Shannon on the sidelines of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s inauguration earlier this week, saying, “We shook hands and I told him: ‘I hope that everything improves.”’ Chavez - a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro whom Washington sees as a destabilizing influence - has pledged billions of dollars (euros) of help to the region in foreign aid, bond buyouts and preferentially financed oil deals. 'Champion of struggle against imperialism' Iran, meanwhile, is allegedly bankrolling militant groups in the Middle East like Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, as well as insurgents in Iraq, in a bid to extend its influence. Ahmadinejad’s visit Saturday - his second to Venezuela in less than four months - comes as he seeks to break international isolation over his country’s nuclear program and possibly line up new allies in Latin America. After Venezuela, Ahmadinejad will visit newly elected leftist governments in Nicaragua and Ecuador that are also seeking to reduce Washington’s influence in the region. Bolivian President Evo Morales, another critic of US policy, said he plans to meet with Ahmadinejad while both are in Ecuador Monday. Chavez and Ahmadinejad have been increasingly united by their deep-seated antagonism to Washington. Chavez has become a leading defender of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, accusing the United States of using the issue as a pretext to attack a regime it opposes and promising to stand with Iran.... The increasingly close relationship has alarmed some, and critics of Chavez accuse him of pursuing an alliance that does not serve Venezuela’s interests and jeopardizes its ties with the United States, the country’s top oil buyer. Venezuela is among the top five suppliers of crude to the US market. Both countries are members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Chavez said Saturday that they had agreed to back an oil production cut in the cartel in order to stem a recent fall in crude prices. ... [More],7340,L-3351871,00.html Future of Iraq: The spoils of war THE INDEPENDENT - By Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb - January 7, 2007 -- Iraq's massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days. The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalised in 1972. The huge potential prizes for Western firms will give ammunition to critics who say the Iraq war was fought for oil. They point to statements such as one from Vice-President Dick Cheney, who said in 1999, while he was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton, that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. "So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies," he said. Oil industry executives and analysts say the law, which would permit Western companies to pocket up to three-quarters of profits in the early years, is the only way to get Iraq's oil industry back on its feet after years of sanctions, war and loss of expertise. But it will operate through "production-sharing agreements" (or PSAs) which are highly unusual in the Middle East, where the oil industry in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's two largest producers, is state controlled. Opponents say Iraq, where oil accounts for 95 per cent of the economy, is being forced to surrender an unacceptable degree of sovereignty. Proposing the parliamentary motion for war in 2003, Tony Blair denied the "false claim" that "we want to seize" Iraq's oil revenues. He said the money should be put into a trust fund, run by the UN, for the Iraqis, but the idea came to nothing. The same year Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, said: "It cost a great deal of money to prosecute this war. But the oil of the Iraqi people belongs to the Iraqi people; it is their wealth, it will be used for their benefit. So we did not do it for oil." Supporters say the provision allowing oil companies to take up to 75 per cent of the profits will last until they have recouped initial drilling costs. After that, they would collect about 20 per cent of all profits, according to industry sources in Iraq. But that is twice the industry average for such deals. …[More] All EU States Now Receiving Russian Oil RADIO FREE EUROPE – Source: Reuters - January 11, 2007 -- European Union Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has confirmed that all EU states affected by the stoppage of oil supplies because of a dispute between Russia and Belarus were now receiving oil. "At this stage I can confirm that all the oil supplies are renewed, all [EU] member states that have been affected are receiving oil," Piebalgs said. "We also, in the Oil Supply Group, get information from representatives of Russia and Belarus that the issues related to the disruption will be solved at least in the next couple of days." The oil stoppage had renewed EU concerns about its energy security and Piebalgs today called on both Russia and Belarus to be "really reliable." Russia restarted the oil flow along the Druzhba pipeline across Belarus after Belarus scrapped an oil-transit duty it imposed last week and agreed to return oil Russia said it had taken illegally. Belarus had imposed the transit duty after Russia doubled prices of natural-gas supplies and imposed duties on its oil exports to Belarus. Price of oil hits 19-month low ASSOCIATED PRESS - January 10, 2007 -- NEW YORK -- Oil prices tumbled to settle at a 19-month low Wednesday after the government reported rising inventories of gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel. … [More] The Oil Market's Weather Obsession The drop in oil prices has been attributed to the unseasonably warm temperatures. But that isn't the whole story BUSINESS WEEK - by Moira Herbst - January 10, 2007 -- Oil prices, after soaring last year, are falling fast in 2007…. What's causing the steep decline? One of the most commonly cited reasons is the balmy weather. Spring-like temperatures in the northeastern U.S. and Europe are supposed to be playing a key part in oil prices' drop to an 18-month low. But there's a puzzling question at the heart of this argument: Why would the weather have that much of an effect? Warm weather does weaken demand for energy to heat homes and businesses. But only a tiny fraction of the oil consumed each day is ultimately used for heating. In the U.S., the figure is only about 7%. Some experts believe that trading oil based on the temperature outside is nothing more than mercury misdirection. Weather Doubts "People have attributed to the weather a much greater impact than it actually has," says Jeff Rubin, chief economist for CIBC World Markets (CM)…. In markets as in many other things, however, perception is reality. The price of oil is determined at any given time by a multitude of factors, from the political situation in Venezuela, to the economic growth in China, to weather in the U.S. If the expectations for one of those factors changes, traders push prices up or down based on their changed perceptions, often by a degree well beyond the fundamentals. "Oil prices are determined at the margin, so fluctuations in the margin drive fluctuations in prices," says Craig Pirrong, professor of finance and energy markets at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business. "Every little movement in demand can have a major impact on price, and that's what we're seeing with the weather now." Price Adjustments Pirrong says that with an unexpected change, markets usually respond by adjusting quantity or adjusting price. In the energy market, adjusting supply is difficult in the short run, so all the burden of the shock falls on the price. "As winter approaches, everyone in the industry knows the demand for heating oil will go up," says Doug MacIntyre, senior oil analyst for the Energy Information Administration of the Energy Dept. "If demand isn't there as you thought, prices go down." The price declines have taken their toll on major oil companies. The stocks of Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), ConocoPhillips (COP), and BP (BP) have all taken a hit this year. Rubin, of CIBC World Markets, points out that the futures markets may be exaggerating the price movements for oil. Futures contracts are agreements to buy or sell oil or other products in the future, at a price agreed on today. A small price decline now can lead traders to expect greater decreases in the months ahead, dragging down futures contract prices. "Sometimes perception becomes reality—especially in the futures market," says Rubin. "If people think warm weather will have a huge impact on reducing oil demand, they'll start selling oil, leading to the appearance that it does" (see, 1/8/07, "Oil: Next Stop, $45?"). "Excessive Speculation" CIBC's report on energy markets and the weather says that "a fixation on the weather is masking some key positives for oil that could see prices set new records in coming quarters." The report says that near double-digit demand for oil from countries such as China, and "rampant energy nationalism" tightening production in countries like Russia and Venezuela, will likely buoy oil prices in the future. Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst for Oppenheimer & Co. (OPY), offers a sharper-toned rebuttal to oil market bears. "You can't reason with the market," he says. He argues that oil price volatility occurs in part because of "excessive speculation" by hedge funds and major financial institutions. He doesn't expect that to change, but he doesn't think it's rational either. "The volatility will continue; that's how traders make money," says Gheit. "The rationale [for a stable price] may be simple, but what takes place is a different story." … [More] Honduras temporarily grabs Exxon, Chevron terminals REUTERS - January 14, 2007 -- TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Honduras will take temporary control of foreign-owned oil storage terminals as part of a government import program meant to drive down fuel prices, President Manuel Zelaya said late on Saturday. Zelaya ordered the move after failing to reach a deal with big oil companies Exxon Mobil and Chevron, as well as local company DIPPSA, to rent the terminals. "It is not a nationalization, it's a temporary use of the storage tanks through a lease and payment of a reasonable price," he said. Honduras produces no crude of its own and no longer has a refinery. Its fuel market, like that of most Central American countries, is dominated by Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron. The government program takes control of imports away from the small group of oil companies that operate service stations in the Central American nation. Those companies have opposed the new system, saying it is anti-competitive. A congressional commission set up to study the new system has said it could save Honduras -- one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere -- about $66 million a year. ... [More] Bush backs Alaskan oil drilling BBC NEWS - January 10, 2007 -- US President George W Bush has lifted a ban on oil and gas drilling in an Alaskan Bay known for its wildlife. Before any drilling, there will be scope for studies and public comment said the Interior Department, which stressed the need for energy security. Home to endangered whales, the Bristol Bay is thought to contain some 200 million barrels of oil. The news comes as a trans-Alaska pipeline was shut down after some 500 gallons of crude oil were spilled. The spill came from a section above ground in the Brooks Range in northern Alaska, due to a faulty weld, and it remains unknown how long the shutdown will last. …[More] Book Recommendation Forget everything you think you know about oil If you believe that oil is a fossil fuel, be prepared to have your thoughts turned upside down. If you believe that the U.S. has no choice but to rely on foreign oil until we ultimately run out of the precious resource, prepare to be challenged by new views that "have the opportunity to help give birth to a new generation of oil politics and economics." WND Books' newest release, "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," by Jerome R. Corsi and Craig R. Smith, explores and debunks some of the popular myths surrounding the international and domestic politics of oil production and consumption to provide Americans with beneficial information while being held in a virtual stranglehold at the gas-pumps. In "Black Gold Stranglehold," Corsi and Smith expose the fraudulent science and irresponsible politics that have been sold to American people in order to enslave them. By debunking several myths, Corsi and Smith provide an outline for progress that would help to establish America as energy-independent. Be prepared to be challenged by: -The myth of fossil fuels: Corsi and Smith argue that the deep abiotic theory of oil is a more reliable theory than the fossil fuel theory. It rejects the contention that oil was formed from the remains of plant and animal life that died millions of years ago. Instead, they believe in Thomas Gold's argument that oil is abiotic: "a primordial material that the earth forms and exudes on a continual basis" and is "pushed upward toward the earth's surface by the intense pressures of the earth's core and the influence of the centrifugal force that the earth exerted upon the specific gravity of oil as a fluid substance." … [More] FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. 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