Monday, March 12, 2012

ROUBINI: An Attack On Iran Could Cause Oil To Spike To $200

Nouriel Roubini : The worse-case scenario is a protracted conflict. If there's an effect on the supply of oil and gas from the Gulf, and production and exports from Iran go for a while to zero, oil could go to $170,$180, $200 a barrel. Then, the question is how long it remains there. Of course, there are now discussions in Washington on how to respond. The amount of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is finite, but if you're not going to use it in this situation, when else are you going to use it? The reality is that if you think about the last three major global recessions, there were all caused by a geopolitical shock in the Middle East that led to spike in oil prices. The Yom Kippur War in 1973 led to the global recession from 1974 to 1979; the Iranian revolution in 1979 led to spike in oil prices and the 1980-1982 recession; and even in 1990, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait brought a temporary spike in oil prices that led, among other factors, to a U.S. and global recession. So if the conflict is severe and protracted and the increase in oil prices in significant, I would say we're talking about not just a U.S. recession but a global recession. And this time around, we're also coming out of a global financial crisis where now we have a huge amount of private and public debt in many advanced economies, like we did not have in 1973 or 1979 or 1990. So the global economy could not take a kind of protracted oil shock coming at a time where there's already a painful process of deleveraging, with fragility in the balance sheets of governments and the private sector as well.
said Nouriel Roubini with his frequent partner Ian Bremmer in an interview with Foreign Policy
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