Wry & Dry

Small oil. Unemployment surprise. Barbados.

Small oil

Readers may have noticed that ExxonMobil was earlier this month given the DCM from the Dow Jones Index.  Was this the canary in the oil well? 

Or another bell tolling.  Not for Gauleiter Dan [1], but for 'Big Oil' [2] and oil exporting countries.  This is profound stuff.

BP has become the first oil major to call the end Big Oil.  Readers may wish to visit: Click here.

It says world oil demand has peaked at 100m barrels per day.  And that, under its 'net zero' outlook, by 2050 it will fall by an astounding 75%.  Even under its more conservative 'rapid' outlook there is a 50% fall in oil demand.

Primary energy consumption by source

Now, 2050 seems a long way away.  Maybe not.  However, just consider the implications.  The price of oil is expected to settle at no more than $45 per barrel.  For Venezuela, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola and Libya time is almost up; they will struggle fiscally. 

Critically, Tsar Vlad will preside over an increasingly economically declining Roosha.  This may tempt him to military adventures, surreptitious or otherwise.

Cartoon Big Oil

Readers may consider a side issue: Bahrain and the UAE just signed a peace deal with Israel.  Peace deals are never what they seem; is there something else going on?

But never say never.  Oil, politics and territoriality are a combustible mix.  Wry & Dry wonders how long it will be before someone parks a tank on someone else's front lawn.

[1] Historical: a political official governing a district under Nazi rule; Modern: an overbearing official.
[2] Big Oil is a name used to describe the world's seven largest publicly traded oil and gas companies. The term emphasises their economic power and influence on politics, particularly in the United States. Big oil is also used to refer to the industry as a whole in a pejorative manner.  The companies are BP, Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and ConocoPhillips.

Unemployment surprises

In news welcomed by at least the Treasurer, Australia's unemployment rate dropped to 6.8% in August, down from 7.5% in July.  Some 110,000 new jobs were created.

Wry & Dry understands that most of these new jobs were in Victoria, being workers employed by the state government to build secret compounds for people who break lock-down rules.

Cartoon andrews ring of steel

Chairman Dan took advice from Emperor Xi and wanted the compounds to be similar to those used in China to 're-educate' the Uighur ethnic group minority in Xinjiang province.  Those compounds, officially called Vocational Education and Training Centers by the Chinese Communist Party, were thought to be unsuited to Victoria because too few security guards would be required.  Readers will be aware that there are now many unemployed security guards in Victoria.     

Instead, Chairman Dan has gone with a proven model.  And Wry & Dry has obtained a smuggled photo of a mock-up of one of the compounds.  Readers can see that the government has ordered the security guards to wear uniforms to make the compound feel authentic. 

A FILM TO REMEMBER: “THE GREAT ESCAPE” (1963) | by Scott Anthony | Medium

Just think of the employment opportunities...

FOMO

Readers will be aware that a Chinese military contractor has been compiling a secret dossier on some 35,000 Australians who are deemed to be 'influential'.  There are thousands from other countries.  The names have been leaked to the media.

The Australian list includes politicians, their wives, parents and children; business leaders; academics; technology people; legal types, etc.  Wry & Dry is most discombobulated that he is not on the list.

Coronavirus: just another flu?

"The science is settled" is a cry Readers would have heard about climate change.

Well, Wry & Dry has been sent an instructive video on the science of flu-type pandemics.  Please click here.

Wry & Dry would be interested to see if there is contrary science.  If not, Wry & Dry's takeaway is that government health departments around the world, with the exception of that in Sweden, have badly advised their governments.  

Cartoon science in progress

Essentially:

  • Flu-type epidemics behave in the same way
  • The shape of the deaths-per-millions curve is consistent
  • 'Second wave' deaths are predictable
  • Lock-downs and masks make very little difference
  • Seasonal climate factors are important 

Just sayin'.    

Barbados 

Barbados is to cricket [4] what Jamaica is to sprinting, Kenya to long-distance running and Venezuela to Miss Universe/ Miss World winners.  That is, the country's greatest export.  

Well, yesterday Barbados hit the headlines for more historic reasons: the government wishes the country to become a republic.  Readers may not be aware that Barbados shares with eight other Caribbean countries, three Pacific islands, Canada, New Ziland and Australia a common head of state: HM Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor.

It has not been decided how Barbados will choose a new head of state.

Wry & Dry suggests that the Duke of Sussex and Princess Princess offer themselves jointly.  Princess Princess has always wanted an elevated role for herself themselves.  They wouldn't even have to move.  The role could be undertaken remotely from their modest home in Santa Barbara, California, Yoo Ess Ay. 

Cartoon Harry barbados

This will allow spare time for Princess Princess to commence her film producing career. And imagine the Netflix rights to "An Intimate Look at Megan's New Role."

[4]  The island was home to, amongst others, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Conrad Hunte, Malcolm Marshall, Garry Sobers, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell.  Wry & Dry saw Greenidge plunder the English attack at Lords in 1984, scoring 214 n.o. on the last day to win the test.  The West Indies were set 344 to win in two and a half sessions.  Greenidge put on 287* with Larry Gomes 92*).  IVA Richards and Clive Lloyd were not required. 

Tsar Putin had two alternatives.  He chose badly.

When over 100,000 people in a small city demonstrate each weekend about the rigging of elections, Wry & Dry would posit that where there's smoke, there's fire.  And so it is in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.  Readers will recall that Belarus is a poor country between Poland and Roosha, run by 'the last dictator of Europe'.

The people are demonstrating because of seemingly rigged elections.  Hitherto, Tsar Vlad has been happy to do whatever was necessary to keep dictator Alexander Lukashenko in power.  Dictator Alex, who has been in power for 26 years, is an evolutionary throwback to the Soviet-era marionettes that ran the likes of East Germany, Poland, etc during the Cold War. 

Allow Wry & Dry to make it clear.  Belarus is not Ukraine.  Ukrainians hate Moscow.  Belarusians are probably closer to Russia, in many ways, than to the West (e.g. the constitution specifies that Russian is the joint language - with Belarusian - and is spoken at home by 70% of Belarusians). All they want is free and fair elections.

So, in setting up a meeting with Dictator Alex in the Black Sea resort of Sochi (Tsar Vlad has a very nice holiday home nearby), Tsar Vlad had two alternatives. 

Plan A: Tell Dictator Alex that he needed to give himself the DCM and allow a democratically elected successor.  That successor would still be in Roosha's orbit, as it were, by reason of trade, bribes, etc.

Plan B: Back Dictator Alex with cash and a 'reserve police force'. 

Tsar Vlad chose Plan B.  Power is everything.  It would reflect Tsarist-weakness to, and embolden, antsy Russians (Navalny supporters, for example) if he chose otherwise.  And Tsar Vlad doesn't like the possibility of losing control of a geographically strategic buffer. 

And his oligarch mates will doubtless benefit from increased economic interest in Belarusian state-controlled industries.       

Poll latest 

Polls, shmolls.  But, well, there is an election upcoming.  And, for the first time in many years, the saying "the world will be watching" is more accurate than not.  So, what do the pollsters say?

Wry & Dry turns unerringly to The Economist for its statistical analysis.  Which shows that Sleepy Joe remains ahead of Virus-What-Virus-Trump.  But by a lessening margin... 

Chart election poll

Be afraid.  Be very afraid! 

How many armed police does it take...

Readers would have seen vision of, as a colleague described, the Victorian Riot Squad swarming the Victoria Market dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   The local riot squad and the Hong Kong branch clearly shop at the same outfitters.

Well, they weren't dressed as TMNTs in Wry & Dry's local street.  But the three armed policemen who turned up were just as intimidating.  And they came to question a woman about a community newsletter.

The woman has been writing and distributing a weekly community newsletter since the start of Chairman Dan's lock-down. In it, mention was made of a local opera singer singing atop her nearby brick fence every Friday. Some locals have turned up to listen, whilst walking their dogs, cats and other animals. 

Photo police 2 

The dialogue, very abridged, was essentially:

SS-Unterführer:  "Why were you advertising an event in breach of the law?"

Woman:  "I wasn't.  Neighbours tell me what they are up to, to cope with the lock-down.  I write them in the newsletter.  The newsletter also has had games for children and recipes.  Do you want a recipe?" 

SS-Unterführer:  "Did you know you can spread coronavirus by putting the community newsletter in peoples' letter boxes?"

Woman: "You'd better visit the people at Australia Post; and then get back to me."

So, three policemen were not arresting drug dealers, burglars or wife-bashers.  They came to monster a young mother who was trying to help the community manage the dystopia of lock-down.

Equally distressing, a vigilante had dobbed this woman in to the police. Sicherheitsdienst now exists in Melbourne.

So, this is what it has come to in Chairman Dan's Gulag State. Neighbour dobs-in neighbour. Police don't focus on serious crime.  Innocent people get unnecessarily harassed.  Regardless of Readers' views on Chairman Dan, the lock-down or face-masks, surely this sort of action has to stop. 

PS:  It can be disclosed that the monstered woman was Mrs Wry & Dry. 

PPS:  The SS-Unterführers also monstered the young opera singer and forced her to stop singing. 

Cartoon opera

Snippets from all over 

1.  Flat US rates

US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced a greater tolerance for inflation. While the central bank is expected to keep rates on hold, the "dot plot" is likely to show interest rates will stay close to zero through the end of 2023. 

Wry & Dry comments:  Nothing to see here.

2.  Biggest software IPO in history

US data warehouse firm Snowflake, which is backed by Warren Buffett and Salesforce, began trading on the NYSE on Wednesday at a valuation of almost $33 billion. 

Wry & Dry comments:  It is the biggest deal of the year, as well as the largest software IPO of all time.

3.  WTO backs China over US

The World Trade Organization has ruled that US tariffs ($360 billion worth) imposed on Chinese goods, starting in 2018, violated global trade rules.

Wry & Dry comments: Virus-What-Virus-Trump gave the V-sign to the ruling. 

4.  Asia shrinks

Asia’s developing economies will contract, by 0.7%, this year for the first time in six decades as the Covid-19 pandemic takes a toll on a crucial driver of global growth, according to the Asian Development Bank. 

Wry & Dry comments:   But growing by 6.8% in 2021.   

5.  Boeing damned

Boeing hid design flaws in its 737 Max jet from both pilots and regulators as it raced to have the aeroplane certified as fit to fly, according to a damning congressional report into why two of the aircraft crashed within months of each other last year, killing 346 people.

Wry & Dry comments:  Relatives of the 346 have already lawyered-up.  The congressional report adds grist to the mill.  Ordinarily, the (domestic) partners of the lawyers would have booked the first class overseas vacation for the entire family, in anticipation of rich fees.  But with the coronavirus, they might have to settle for buying that second ski-lodge, this time in Zermatt.

And, to soothe your troubled mind ...

Miscellany 

Last words ...

“The allegations are totally false."

 -  Jenna Ellis, legal advisor to Virus-What-Virus-Trump's election campaign, responding to overnight allegations that he sexually assaulted a former model at the US Open tennis tournament in 1997.

There were so many, so long ago.  How could he possibly remember this one?

A lightly salted absurdity ...

Deepak, Wry & Dry's Uber driver ... 

Ed: Mrs Wry & Dry's quill lay dormant this week.  Discombobulation caused by the events described above caused writer's block.

 

Cheers

Anthony