May 182011
 

2011-09 of 18 May, 2011   Click here for PDF Download

The difference between a government and private enterprise is that the former looks for the “votes” whereas latter goes for “notes.”

 

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (Let us say, Oil Ministry) being a section of the government obviously go for the votes. Inflation is rising, GDP is rising, interest rate is rising, budget deficit is rising, subsidies are rising, oil prices and petrol pump prices are rising, but the gas output of Reliance Industries Ltd. major off shore facility in KG Basin is falling.

Reliance Industries Ltd. who owns the licensed facility in Krishna-Godavri Basin is dilly dallying in raising the production. Reason – final product price Gas Prices are not allowed to rise by the government. RIL who opened hundreds of pumps a few years ago shut them down without any ceremony because it could not sell the petrol at subsidized rates and lose money. Same thing is happening in gas produced at KG Basin. Reliance being a public listed company loyal to shareholders and their purses, looks for notes (Rupee) because it can not sell more and more gas at less and less prices.

Reliance is telling the oil ministry – look you want votes, so you are subsidizing but we are not in business of getting votes. We need hard currency notes when we produce and sell the gas from KG Basin. This is why we obtained the license from you and found the huge gas reserve spending thousands of crores of rupees. We are answerable to our shareholders, and look at our stock price which is not rising for over two years in a row. Only due to your policy of containment of the gas prices.

Government of India is taking the matter seriously. It wants to keep the inflation in control, and since it can not control the overseas oil prices and does not want to let the Rupee appreciate either to blunt the effect of the inflation, it has picked up cudgel with the Reliance to up lift the gas production. If gas is produced more domestically, it could cost less, and it could be sold cheaper to the common people by not raising the prices, and also save on extra budget deficits.

However, RIL is not ONGC or Oil Marketing Companies like ONGC, IOC, BPCL, HPCL or MRPL who shoulder part of subsidy by themselves and also ask the government 10 times before raising prices. RIL means business, and just as it shutter down all petrol pump due to its inability to pass on the extra costs to the consumers under prohibitive price control, it would shut down the Gas Platform or rigs or wells in KG Basin if it can not raise the price in conformity with the market prices.

Now, the Government says – Do it and RIL says it can’t (= won’t). It plays up the technical and feasibility studies in its defense and says that drilling more wells will not be technically feasible. If that was so, why did British Petroleum agree to pay US$ 9 billions only two months back to take stake in those very ventures RIL says are not profitable or technically not feasible?

What RIL is telling the Government that – Look, We are not ONGC or IOC. You allow us to raise the gas prices, we will drill more. If you say No, then we may not say “No” but we can say “We can’t”. After all you are a government, and like King, the government “Does No Wrong”.

The government is in fix. They can armtwist Anil Agarwal or some other telco company, but here they are fighting a muted war with Mukesh Ambani of RIL who lives in US$ 1 Billion bungalow, and where he has spent more money in guest toilet than what Government spent on whole floor or block on the parliament street housing the Petroleum and Gas Ministry (oil ministry).

What could happen if both sides remain adamant. Would the ministry cancel the license or permission to extract the gas in the name of protecting or efficiently utilizing the national resources in best national interest and force “RIL to do it or abandon it”

RIL, if government orders it as above, would go to the Supreme Court and assert the right to dictate the free market prices under the law and in order to protect the best interests of its shareholders. The Supreme Court will be in dilemma and will have to chose lesser devil. If RIL succeeds in imposing free market prices, almost all State Owned Refineries such as ONGC, MRPL, IOC, BPCL and HPCL too will benefit.

So it is a battle royal. It will be a important battle reminiscent of Napoleon or Sikander. This will make it interesting to watch.

Kalidas (Anil Selarka)

Ref: 2011-09 of 2011-05-18

Apr 252011
 

Ref: 2011-07 of 24 April, 2011

There is an adage “ The people peep into others home when troubles are in their own”

United States, United Kingdom and entire Europe, most of whom are NATO members follow the above adage literally. When United States intervened in World War II, the entire Europe that was decimated resurrected to become a super power. When US threw two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the Japanese re-livened from disaster to become a magical super economic power. US engineered Asian crisis to destroy rising economic powers. And Asian emerged as the super economic power larger than Japan and Europe combined.

However, these super power merged themselves in every action later on world stage with experience in military warfare. They tried Vietnam, failed; then Korean peninsula, failed; Cambodia and Laos, failed; Iraq, failed; Palestine, failed; Lebanon, failed; Bosnia, failed; Iraq, failed; Afghanistan, failed; and now Libya, failing; Iran, nearly failed or failing.

The above alliances or mergers are similar on financial battleground to Time Inc. merging with Warner Communication to become Time Warner in days of trouble and when it did not work, they merged with another uprising power AOL to become Time Warners AOL to hide enormous troubles within. It did not work either. Now they are separating. The western culture of “marry and divorce, marry and divorce” is not working as efficient model.

Since the days of Iraq war, the western powers have found new battleground in Middle East. However, their tactics are not working because of vast cultural difference between other nations where they intervened and current one. Middle East nations are mostly “Muslim” countries where the prime loyalty is to their “religion” or “Koran”. A person is a “Muslim” first and then only Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Irani, Pakistani etc. Such unilateralism unites them and any attack on any nation is viewed as an attack on Islam, their religion. These are the countries where mullahs, kajis, ayatollahs and other religious leaders have dominating influence over the political leaders or sheiks or sultans. Western political leaders therefore can not force the “democratic” values upon the national leaders of those countries only because their role is secondary.

As result, the Muslim community as whole has become extremely volatile. The real education has not percolated down enough through the masses. Even well educated Muslim scholars do not imbibe or publicly profess the democratic values for fear being “cast out” of their community. Their children have to pay the price. Their daughters or sons do not get suitable match only because other families may not want to associate with literate or reformist Muslim.

Unless and until the attacks are directed to eliminate the root causes, that is, Islamic religious leadership, nothing is going to work, and the common people are going to continue to lose lives of their dearest kin, parents, husbands, wives, children etc. for no fault of theirs. Removing a political leader like Saddam Hussein, Shah of Iranl, Gadaffi, Saleh or Assad will not bring in democracy. If intention was to remove only the offending leaders, why not Western powers concentrate bombing on the leaders and their place of dwellings to eliminate them, and instead bomb all around through war planes or drones which kill only innocent civilians who turn against the very western powers trying to help them?

 

Economic Sanctions and their effects

In the name of democracy, the western powers go on interfering into the internal affairs of those nations. They use “United Nations” to validate their military actions by allowing free passage of resolutions authorizing them to indulge into such actions. They also get to pass resolution authorizing “economic sanctions” on those countries. Why should the entire nation be penalized with economic sanctions for the single unacceptable act of a political leader of that nation?

Such economic sanctions under the authority of United Nations is no different similar sanctions imposed by Clerics, Mullahs or Ayatollahs on their Muslim community. They impose their brand of social sanctions which is also a form of economic sanctions. One does in the name of United Nations, other does in the name of clerics or mullahs or ayatollah. How many times the Western attack was aimed at removing the belligerent clerics or mullahs who were instrumentals in authorizing, conceiving, planning and executing terrorist attacks on western worlds? Almost none.

The western nations also take pride in launching attack from 20 miles above the ground with almost 2000 pounds of bombs on Islamic civilian targets alleged to be used by real terrorists as their hide out. When the affected people find themselves paralyzed to launch similar counter attacks, they resort to guerrilla warfare and become terrorists (in the language of western powers). In their own nations such people are recognized and applauded as “nationalist” or “real Muslim”. When your home is attacked with guns and arsenals, would not you traditional weapons like Iron bars or wooden sticks or even kitchen pots to stop the invader into your home?

The Western forces are also cowards. They can not not take part on the ground and fight the opponents on one to one basis because of fear of loss of their lives. Only yesterday, an American drone (unmanned plane) attacked one place in Pakistan killing 26 civilians including few women and children. The attackers did not say “sorry” but tried to justify their attacks based on information of terrorists hide out there. Killing of 26 innocent civilians push them more into the fold of their religious leaders, against their political leaders for allowing or consenting Western powers to use their home land to attack their own people and creating 260 future terrorists to avenge the death of their parents, children or next to kin.

In other words, the western powers are attacking leaves, secondary branches and other branches of a tree rather than attacking the roots where the Clerics or Mullahs live. Even if they help the rebels, who are also Muslim, they will grab the power from one political leader and appoint their own, but follow the same principles, guides, directions and intentions of their religious leaders because they too are Muslim first and rebel later.

Freezing Islamic Nations Forex Reserve and Impact on Oil prices, Euro

In the name of economic sanctions, the countries like United States and United Kingdom are freezing the national Forex reserve of affected Islamic or Arabic countries. If US Dollar is to be used as “world’s reserve currency”, it should be respected as such by its own issuer – United States. Forex reserve of any country lying in United States is “sacred” and should not be touched even with remote hand or pole by the US administration. It is not their money. Such Forex reserve is held in United States in Trust, and US has to carry out the duties as “Trustee“. You can not freeze the Forex reserve held in trust with the United States. If you are keeping your valuable ornaments in any bank locker, would you accept if they refuse to allow you to access to your own private property held in trust at the bank? Certainly not.

Undesirable Effect of Freezing  “$ Reserve” on Oil prices and Inflation

If there are troubles in Greece, Portugal, Iceland or Spain, why the hell their currency “Euro” is rising? It may be noted that Euro has been rising with every increase in oil price in US$ terms? What is the correlationship?

Almost all Arab nations, who are involved in political turmoil, for fear of being their Forex reserve being frozen in United States and United Kingdom (America’s bedside partner), have started quoting oil prices in Euro rather than US dollars. As result, the buyer of the oil has to buy Euro first by selling dollar and then place buy order for oil with reasonable assurance from European nations that they would not freeze their reserve held in “Euro”. As result, the dollar has been plunging, oil prices are rising in dollar terms and Euro is surging.

Such “Forex Reserve Freezing exercise” has turned out to be “nightmare” for US financial officials like Fed, Treasury and even President Obama who launched massive investigations for extra ordinary rise in oil prices in United States by penalizing the “speculators”. Oh Mr. Obama, no one is manipulating oil prices at the pumps – it is only your economic sanctions freezing “Forex reserve” of Arab nations, is the main cause. Remove that cause, your dollar will start rising again. When you can see such truth with naked eye, why do you use “binoculars” and “microscope” to ferret out the truth. The culprit and speculator is nowhere else but only in White House – that is You, Bernanke, Geithner and rebellious senators in the House of Senate and House of Representative. Look in the mirror, Mr. President, you will find the criminal there itself.

In my book “Sub Prime Resolved” I have devoted entire chapter on oil price manipulation, its mechanism and also informed the readers that “US Should pass a legislation removing the authority of anyone, including President , to freeze any country’s Forex or Dollar reserve lying at FED/Treasury as untouchable sacred money belonging to other nations lying in trust with them.

Saddam Hussein was attacked by United States because his $1.6 billions were frozen in United States which forced him to quote the oil prices in Euro. US being extremely fearful of economic adverse effect attacked his country in the name his possessing WMD or Weapons of Mass Destructions which were never found.

Even India found difficult to buy oil from Iran. India buys 400,000 barrels of oil every day from Iran. Manmohan Singh in his policy of appeasement directed RBI to frame rules not to deal with Iran and carry out monetary transactions in dollar. Indian Oil Corporation was in such dire strait that it had to buy the oil from other sources paying 10% premium to market price. Iran recently agreed to supply crude oil without payment for time being and requested settlement in non dollar currency or gold, that is, Euro or Gold. This is one of the main reason why both Euro and Gold are rising neck to neck with oil prices in dollars.

Poor Obama! He has lost his mind. He knows the solution to higher oil prices is lying on his desk but he is not aware of it. He looks more at TV, tea parties, and daily change in gas prices at the pumps and increasingly ordering “drone” attacks on Libyans in the hope of reducing oil prices. Who will show him the “Kalidas Note” that solution lies in his pen by de-freezing Forex reserve of any nation even if they are under watch of economic sanctions, not in drone or manned attacked on rebels from several miles above in the sky. Hey Mr. President. The Arabs have money and you are preventing them from sending dollar remittances to your country!

GET DOWN TO EARTH, Mr. OBAMA. You are now welcome on this planet if you are carrying a pen to sign the defreezing order. Otherwise the oil prices will go so high that Americans will freeze to death in winter only due to your freezing actions of other nations dollar reserve lying in your country which are in fact financing your huge deficits otherwise. Do not drive them away – only you and American people will suffer.

If there are troubles in Middle East countries, Mind Your Own Business. If they do not want democracy, so be it. If they want to die, let them die, but while helping them to live, do not kill rest of the nations in the world. There are over 6 billion people on this planet. Existence or non existence of about 50 million people in Middle East is not going to make much difference!

 

Anil Selarka ( Kalidas )

2011-04-24 Ref: 2011-07

 

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