Wednesday, June 26, 2019

London Bridge Is Falling Down

 In Novermber, 2006, in an article that I posted to my blog The Underground Investor, I wrote this : “even if the Iranian conflict eventually materializes, a prior short, surgical strike elsewhere seems much more likely. In fact, Venezuela, or a smaller South American country such as Bolivia or Ecuador would seem to be a prime target if this is the case.”

The reason why I believed that a future U.S. military intervention, one that was a quick, surgical strike, but a very powerful one, was inevitable was because as I wrote back then, “History has shown that when the U.S.’s sovereignty and military power has been challenged in the world that the U.S. will engage in an act of war to re-establish her status as a feared power.”

However, certain events have since materialized that lead me to believe that instead of a strike preceding Iran, that Iran is now more likely to suffer the strike I believed would happen “elsewhere”. As I stated in my first “Nostradamus” article, in May, 1975, Cambodians seized the U.S. cargo ship, the Mayaguez, in route from Vietnam to Thailand. The next day, the U.S. General Accounting Office reported that a Chinese diplomat had filed a report stating that China was using its favorable diplomatic relationship with Cambodia to negotiate on behalf of the U.S. and that all American crewmen were “expected to be released soon.” Despite these developments, then U.S. President Gerald Ford ordered a U.S. marine assault on the Cambodian island that had been holding the American crewmen, mostly as a show to assert American might after the conflict in Vietnam had gravely weakened her global standing.

Does this incidence sound eerily similar to something transpiring today? If it doesn’t it should. Currently there is an international row between the U.K. and Iran regarding Iran’s seizure of 15 British sailors on a ship that Iran claims ventured into Iranian waters. The British government vehemently denies the Iranian state’s official stance regarding this incident, and claims that Iran illegally seized a ship that was still officially in Iraqi waters. In the meantime, the U.S. has intervened, with President Bush stating his unequivocal support for Britain and calling for the unconditional release of the British sailors and Iran’s continuing behavior in this matter as “inexcusable.”

However, this current international row has much much deeper implications below the surface. This row is about much more than just the seizure of British sailors, and I’ll explain what I mean shortly.

Although this incident may seem relatively tame at this point, what elevates its significance of this event in my eyes is its peculiar timing. There is a reason that the phrase “the Fog of War” exists due to the frequent mass deception of the public that precedes declarations of war or military strikes. The timing of this incident is peculiar in my eyes because of the fact that Tehran has publicly launched a campaign to hurt the U.S. dollar and economy. Tehran has officially directed all Iranian business to turn to the Euro to finance their operations, unloaded dollars, and stated a goal of having their economy become 100% free of U.S. dollar dependency (insert link here). Furthermore, Iran has already started trading oil in Euros with China. A similar arrangement with Russia to steer clear of a petrodollar oil trade is near inevitable, and ditto with Japan. After that, fellow Middle Eastern bloc countries are sure to fall in line as well. All of Iran’s recently implemented economic policies are a direct blow to the objectives of the Iraqi war and it is not likely that their economic policies, which barely merit a passing mention in the media, will be tolerated for long.

All these conditions, in conjunction with all the accusations of Iranian weapons-grade nuclear enrichment programs that have never been properly validated, set up the perfect precursor for a military strike. I’m not saying that it will happen, because I think that an invasion of Iran would be pure madness, but I’m saying that conditions exist well below the surface of the British sailor dispute that are the REAL reasons for current U.S. – Iranian tension. The British sailor row is merely the perfect visible event that is necessary to give any executed theater operation the legitimacy it needs in the court of global opinion. So in the end, a military strike is more likely to happen now than ever before, and it is likely to happen soon if it happens at all.

In any event, what are the implications of this dispute for investors? Politics have deep and serious impacts upon financial markets. A worst case scenario would be a U.S./ U.K joint strike on Iran. In this case oil prices would soar. The best case scenario would be a peaceful resolution of this conflict but given Iran’s economic policies of late, any peaceful resolution would still leave an unresolved and extremely tense situation simmering below the surface which still could boil over and erupt at any point. And this situation still bodes well for oil companies. So start looking for oil companies that have corrected a lot recently and have extremely low historical valuations now. Not all oil companies fall into this category, as many have corrected and since then, gained almost all of their correction back. But there still exist a handful out there. Either way this situation blows, oil explorers and oil service companies should benefit.
London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. You remember that song from childhood no doubt. But did you know that the London Bridge is actually located in the beautiful town of Lake Havasu City in Arizona, United States of America? The world-famous London Bridge in Lake Havasu City attracts hundred of thousands of visitors year-round from all around the world. It is a focal point for the city and a crossing between the Bridgewater Channel from the mainland and a little island on the Colorado River. Here’s a little background on the legendary bridge that resides in this historic American city.

In 1962, after standing for over 130 years, the bridge which was originally located in London, was really falling down, just like in the nursery rhyme. It simply could no longer handle the ever increasing traffic flow across the river. Well it was actually sinking in the Thames River.

Nevertheless, an American entrepreneur named Robert P. McCulloch recognized a wonderful opportunity when the British government put it up for sale. He made a bid for ownership of the bridge and on April 18, 1968, won the auction for a sum of $2,460,000. Mr. McCulloch, who was the Founder of Lake Havasu City and also Chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation, then had London Bridge taken apart. With each stone being carefully marked, it was sent off on a barge to make its journey from Europe to the United States. At the dock of the California coast, it was taken off the boat, loaded up and transported by truck to Lake Havasu in Arizona. It cost an additional 7 million dollars to transport and reconstruct it, which took three years. But the bridge was rebuilt stone by stone and upon its completion, was officially dedicated in the town on October 10, 1971, where it still stands.

After you enjoy taking in the view of the bridge and the beautiful mountainscapes that surround it, you can go down below it for even more fun. Nuzzled underneath the City of Lake Havasu’s London Bridge is the ‘English Village’. Offering quaint, old-fashioned British spirit for your eating and shopping pleasure, the Tudor style architecture of the shops and restaurants creates an essence that allows visitors to experience the days of “Merry Olde England”. You can stroll along the tree-lined walkways, shop and feast at one of the great selection of restaurants which offer something for everyone. Later, stop in at one of the local breweries for a ‘homemade’ beer – root beer or otherwise!

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