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World View: Plane Crash Killing France's Total SA President Jeopardizes Russia's Oil Contracts

World View: Plane Crash Killing France's Total SA President Jeopardizes Russia's Oil Contracts

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Nigeria’s deal with Boko Haram collapses as more girls are abducted
  • Plane crash killing France’s Total SA president jeopardizes Russia’s oil contracts
  • Indonesia’s president calls for a ‘global maritime axis’
  • Wild Wall Street swings signal period of increased danger to investors

Nigeria’s deal with Boko Haram collapses as more girls are abducted

Boko Haram abducts 40 more girls (Sun News)
Boko Haram abducts 40 more girls (Sun News)

When Nigeria’s government last week announced a ceasefire deal withthe terrorist group Boko Haram that would return to their homes 230schoolgirls that had been abducted in April, many people noted thatannouncement was being made from one side only, and was not beingconfirmed by Boko Haram leaders. ( “18-Oct-14 World View — Nigerians skeptical of deal with Boko Haram to release abducted schoolgirls”)

It now turns out that the people who assumed that the governmentleaders were lying or mistaken were right. In a fresh attack onTuesday on a different village, Boko Haram has abducted 40 more girls.Sun News Online (Nigeria)

Plane crash killing France’s Total SA president jeopardizes Russia’s oil contracts

Christophe de Margerie, 63, head of France’s oil and gas giant Total(pronounced toe-TAL) SA was killed in a plane crash in Moscowon Monday evening. The corporate jet carrying Margerie collided witha snowplow on the runway as it was taking off in thick fog. BothFrench and Russians are investigating the crash to determine whetherthe cause was pilot error or negligence at the control tower.

De Margerie’s death is considered a blow to Russia’s economicinterests because he was a very vocal supporter of Russia, and opposedEuropean sanctions on Russia because of the latter’s invasion ofUkraine and annexation of Crimea. Just hours before his death, hesaid the following in a speech:

In general I’m against sanctions. I’ve repeated thismany times. You heard that. And I’ve become not very popular in mycountry as I was often blamed for promoting our own interests. Idon’t like sanctions as such because I think they are both unfairand counterproductive.

Total is currently participating in five large oil/gas projects inRussia, and theoretically they’re now all in jeopardy, thanks toU.S. pressure, although analysts believe that Total will notcompletely abandon them.

For Russia’s rulers, de Margerie seemed the embodiment of an idealEuropean partner and more: A French aristocrat and major oil CEO,anti-American in inclination, whose cooperation would force theEuropean sanctions to collapse, and turn Russia’s invasion of Ukraineinto a total victory. His sudden tragic death is seen as a severe,devastating blow.

As a result, paranoid ultranationalists in Russia are seeing the deathof de Margerie as a deliberate plot by opponents of Russia’s presidentVladimir Putin, presumably the United States. Russia Today and Russia/India Report and Jamestown

Indonesia’s president calls for a ‘global maritime axis’

Saying that Indonesia has been “neglecting our seas, oceans and bays,”newly elected president Joko Widodo used his inaugural address to callfor turning Indonesia into a “global maritime axis.”

In view of Indonesia’s naval buildup plans, in reaction to China’sapparent plans to annex Indonesia’s Natuna Islands by military force( “21-Oct-14 World View — Tensions grow with China over Indonesia’s Natuna Islands”),Joko’s call may well be viewed as a challenge to China.

According to Joko, in his inaugural address earlier this week:

The seas, the oceans and the bays are our future, andwe have been neglected our seas, oceans and bays.

This is the time to return to Jalesveva Jayamahe [Sanskrit for ‘Inthe sea we will triumph’]. …

To build Indonesia into a great, prosperous and peaceful countrywe must possess the soul of Cakrawati Samudra [Sanskrit for amaritime nation with a strong merchant navy].

As the captain of the ship, I invite all Indonesians on board tomove toward a prosperous nation. To all fishermen, laborers,farmers, meatball sellers, drivers, all the professionals — Icall on you to work hand in hand because this is the historicalmoment for us to work, work and work.

Meatball sellers?

Although Joko did not mention China, he is expected to announce a newcabinet post for coordinating maritime, natural resources, andenvironmental affairs.

Jakarta Globe

Wild Wall Street swings signal period of increased danger to investors

Wall Street pundits were thrilled on Thursday when the Dow JonesIndustrial Average surged 216 points, over 200 points for the thirdtime in a week, after falling a similar amount in the preceding 6days. These wild swings are also occurring for bond prices, oilprices and VIX (volatility index) prices. As I’ve been explaining, these wild swings signal a verydangerous time when a crash might be approaching. This would be thecase if the amplitude of the swings continues to increase in the nextfew days, though not necessarily if the swings settle down. The S&P500 price/earnings ratio (stock valuations) is at historic highs,indicating that the stock market is in a large bubble, andGenerational Dynamics predicts that we’re headed for a globalfinancial panic and selloff. Reuters

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Nigeria, Boko Haram,France, Christophe de Margerie, Total SA, Russia,Ukraine, Crimea, Vladimir Putin,Indonesia, Joko Widodo, Natuna Islands, China
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