The Oil Reserve Sales and Stagflation

Reader Jon B asks, what in my opinion are the reasons behind the decision of the U.S. to sell some 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve? Could it reflect the cutoff of Libyan oi production and plans for increased warfare by the U.S. government in the Middle East and Africa over the coming months?

The unexpected failure of the Libyan government to quickly collapse before the combined U.S.-NATO-rebel assault means that disruption of Libya’s oil production and exports is likely to last longer than the U.S. government planners expected back in March when the U.S.-NATO war against Libya began. U.S. military activity against Yemen also appears to be increasing. There is also a growing danger of a U.S.-NATO war against Syria. This danger will increase if Libya’s resistance finally crumbles before the overwhelming firepower of the U.S-NATO assault.

It seems likely now, however, that the motive for the sale of oil reserves is largely economic. By driving down the price of crude oil and gasoline, the U.S. and other capitalist governments are attempting to boost purchasing power and thus pump some life into the faltering economic recovery from the “Great Recession.”

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