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Jeff Rubin: Oil and the End of Globalization

Jeff Rubin: Oil and the End of Globalization
Extracts:
...
Conventional wisdom, as espoused by central bankers, finance ministers, and the pundits that you watch on TV would have you believe that the recession that we are still feeling here in America, and, indeed, throughout the world, was all about a financial crisis, whose roots lie in the failed sub-prime mortgage market in the United States.
...
It is easy to see how sub-prime mortgages blew up Wall Street; it is a little more challenging to see it as the author of the global recession...
Every major recession in the post-war period has oil's fingerprints all over it... Gee, I wonder what happened to oil prices before this recession. It seems to me that oil prices went from about $30 barrel, at the beginning of 2004, to almost $150 barrel by 2008. ..
Peak oil is not a problem if the economy that it is powering is shrinking. Peak oil is only a problem if the economy we are in is starting to grow. The first thing you know about an economic recovery is that economies start burning more oil. The next thing you know about an economic recovery is that oil prices start rising....
Even in this most anemic of economic recoveries, we are going to see triple digit oil prices...
Worse than that, triple digit oil prices will not only take millions off the road, it will send our economy right back into recession...
So how do we adapt?
Triple digit oil price is going to change cost-curves. And when it changes cost curves, it is going to change economic geography at the same time. I know that the world of triple digit oil prices has been the domain of the apocalypse. For many people, the advent of peak oil and triple digit oil price means the end of our economy. For some, civilization as we know it. I don't share that pessimism. I don't share that outlook. I'm an economist. I believe in the power of prices.
...peak oil won't just be a recession, peak oil will be peak GDP, and that will be apocalyptic. I believe we are going to change. I believe that we are not going to end up importing food from half-way around the world, or steel from half-way around the world.

And we might just find that that new smaller world around the corner is a whole lot more livable, and a whole lot more sustainable, than the big "oily" one we are about to leave behind.

Full article and comments here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7095?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=fee...