The largest oil exporter in the Middle East has teamed up with the second largest consumer of oil in the world (China) to build a gigantic new oil refinery and the mainstream media in the United States has barely even noticed it. This mammoth new refinery is scheduled to be fully operational in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu by 2014. Over the past several years, China has sought to aggressively expand trade with Saudi Arabia, and China now actually imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States does. In February, China imported 1.39 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia. That was 39 percent higher than last February. So why is this important? Well, back in 1973 the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed that all oil sold by Saudi Arabia would be denominated in U.S. dollars. This petrodollar system was adopted by almost the entire world and it has had great benefits for the U.S. economy. But if China becomes Saudi Arabia’s most important trading partner, then why should Saudi Arabia continue to only sell oil in U.S. dollars? And if the petrodollar system collapses, what is that going to mean for the U.S. economy?
Archive for March 23, 2012
I’ve mentioned before how I’m proud and lucky to work for the Cato Institute, first and foremost because my colleagues are scrupulously non-partisan. We promote the ideals of freedom and liberty and we’ll work with any politician of any party who happens to be on the right side. Likewise, we’ll attack statism, regardless of what political party is in charge.
But I’m also proud to be at Cato because of the high-quality research. The latest example is a study looking at examples of defensive gun use. It’s a fascinating look at real-world anecdotes, augmented by references to other scholarly work.
If you’ve seen the Powerpoint presentation on the Second Amendment that I posted, you’ll understand why I like this new research. Here are some key excerpts.
If policymakers are truly…
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