More Granules – “Friends With Benefits” – Quiet Activity Appears After Phone Calls…

As you know CTH takes a different approach at significant world events. We try to share the untold stories as they shake out, in real time, in granular details not noted by the MSM.  We discuss the stuff on the way to the destination.  That way when we arrive at a ‘way point’ we have a historic reference, a back-story, to comprehend consequential headlines when they happen.

With that in mind, here’s another non-discussed granular detail, spotted recently, building toward a much more significant geopolitical outcome, vis-a-vis Russia.

You might remember on August 4th President Trump and French President Emmanuel had a phone call.  The outline of the phone conversation is HERE, but there was no real reason for them to be chatting…. or was there?

Western media has paid virtually no attention to how Trump’s big picture economic policy enmeshes and bolsters his national security policy.

Quite literally, and I really want to emphasize this, Secretary Mnuchin (Treasury) and Secretary Ross (Commerce) are just as important as Secretary Mattis (Defense) and Secretary Tillerson (State).

Stop and think about that for a minute.

When President Trump went to Saudi Arabia for the Arab Security Summit the two most visibly active cabinet members were Mnuchin and Ross.  When has a Treasury Secretary and Commerce Secretary ever had as much importance during world security events?

Think about it.

Who was Obama’s Commerce Secretary during Iran negotiations?

We are all familiar with the role of Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense when it comes to geopolitical issues of national security.

Everyone knew every prior administration’s Secretary of State and Defense; we always saw these two people used during international diplomacy and national security discussions.

But when was the last time the Commerce Secretary was part of the national security apparatus?  Or the USTR (Robert Lighthizer now)?

See the point?

Everything President Trump does to ensure national security keeps the traditional application of diplomacy and defense, but necessarily overlays international economics over the entire dynamic.  Defense and diplomacy are still important, but with Trump there’s a more laser focus on the economics of each situation.

Money makes the world go around…. and no-one applies this leverage like President Trump.  Heck, no-one has ever even fathomed using economic leverage in ways that President Trump does.  There’s not even a close second.

That new-paradigm, that very Trumpian approach, is what brought China and Russia to support Nikki Haley in the U.N. Security Council resolution against North Korea.

Economics, it’s always about the economics.  There are trillions at stake in the geopolitical economic chess match.  We’ve outlined at length how President Trump is in this economic and trade battle-space with China over North Korea; but we haven’t emphasized Russia enough and how Trump’s economic influence plays-out with Syria and Iran.

Reference – energy prices are the backbone of the Russian economy.  Heck, exports of Oil and Gas to the EU was the leverage Putin used to back down everyone in the region over his Ukraine expansion.

It’s not like Russians are exporting cars, electronics or innovation that the world is clamoring for.  Nor does Russia have creative enterprises based on technology.  Like China, Russia just steals the innovative stuff they want.  Ergo Help Wanted ads for hackers etc.

If you want dependable weapons or oil, well, Russia has you covered.  If you want a luxury SUV or TV set… well, notsomuch. With all the new riches possible from state funds, the Oligarchs never quite got around to thinking about that long-term stuff; and there damned sure is no Edward Demming type person, economic architect, they can -or would- listen to.

Just look at their GDP which also measures their economic output minus their imports:

Without energy exports, Russia is in even worse shape.  And, as a direct consequence, low energy prices for oil and gas mean their economy shrinks even further.  The value of Russia’s primary export is directly tied to their ability to influence global events.

Back to Macron and Trump’s phone call last week.

Yesterday Reuters happened to note that Libya, getting more stable now, was cranking up their oil exports to the EU.   Libya exports “heavy crude” used in Diesel Fuel and lots of EU powered stuff (“heavy crude oil” is different from “light sweet crude”).  Oh yeah, and it happens that Trump and Macron were discussing Libya and Sahel region of Africa where France has energy development.  Yeah, funny that.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, pulling back from recent gains as exports from key OPEC producers rose and despite news of lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia.

The oil market has been in consolidation mode after a sharp rally between mid-June and late July pushed U.S. crude futures above $50 a barrel for the first time in several weeks. The price slipped back below $50 and has traded around that number as world supply has been slow to draw down.

“It’s just unable to break above $50,” said Kyle Cooper, consultant for ION Energy in Houston. “It’s boring, but there’s a fundamental justification for prices being stuck between $45 and $55 without a significant geopolitical event.”

Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 settled down 23 cents a barrel at $52.14 a barrel. U.S. light crude CLc1 ended down 22 cents at $49.17 a barrel.

Crude oil exports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hit a record in July, largely because of gains in Nigeria and Libya, two member countries exempt from the agreement to limit production through March 2018.

The recovery in Libya’s oil output and higher production in Nigeria have complicated OPEC’s efforts to curb supply.  (read more)

… as Tigger would say “TTFN”.


This entry was posted in Big Government, Decepticons, Deep State, Donald Trump, Economy, energy, European Union, France, North Africa, Poland, President Trump, Russia, Secretary of State, Secretary Tillerson, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, United Nations, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

353 Responses to More Granules – “Friends With Benefits” – Quiet Activity Appears After Phone Calls…

  1. PDQ says:

    J.Q. Public is supposed to be ignorant of the economy, etc.
    That’s the way THEY want it…allows for much shenanigans…until President Trump came along… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • fangdog says:

      Wait until the public finds out how much their pension funds, 401k’s, retirement money has been ripped off by the UniParty Wall Street establishment elites. It is totally unbelievable. It has not been because the people are too dumb to do any better, it is because they have been brainwashed and not made aware.

      Trump mentioned this once in his first month of campaigning and has never mentioned it since. He did say if the people really knew truth, it would cause a massive uproar across the Nation as never seen before. Trump wants to get to this eventually, but he first needs tax-reform and healthcare solved.

      Liked by 7 people

      • palafox says:

        And mentioning it now is counter-productive. There is no election this year, and people tend to move on from things — even bad things — if given enough time to find something else to occupy their concern.

        Liked by 3 people

        • fangdog says:

          Yes and it does make one wonder if Trump sees all this UniParty. establishment, negative media an advantage. The stuff they come-up with is so ridiculous and Trump keeps gaining as a result. My guess is if a fair, legitimate election was held today , Hillary would be lucky to get 35%.

          Liked by 1 person

        • rsanchez1990 says:

          He might be saving the massive uproar until it can cause massive damage to the establishment.

          Liked by 4 people

      • Linda says:

        A lot of baby boomers who lost a huge chunk of their retirement funds in the meltdown of 2008 understand this very well.

        Liked by 2 people

        • fangdog says:

          Ask yourself, “What is it no matter your plan or planner, everyone gets around 7% as an “acceptable” norm. Who gets the other 93%?

          Believe me, it is there and Trump knows it. There are tremendous good things in store for the American people, but in the meantime we have to put-up with a powerful, crooked, corrupt, criminal force …..Congress, Senate, Deep State and Big Club.

          Liked by 2 people

        • bliss3609 says:

          Yup… me and a lot of my friends / neighbors.!!! Especially hurtful with age discrimination once a few jobs did start opeing up!!


  2. Shaw Mar says:

    Seems our oil and gas exports are helping those countries that had depended on Russia. Where would our exports, if any, go if we were part of the Paris accords?


  3. snarkybeach says:

    Gordon Chang on FNC echoing Sundance’s theory that President Trump’s comments are aimed at China not NK.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Beenthere says:

    It’s a shame about Russia, so much economic potential, having so much natural resources & an educated population. I remember in the 1990s when the drunk Yeltsin tried to bring in a free market economy but backfired. Instead he opened the doors to massive corruption & a Putin. Putin may have some good points but ultimately he is a power-hungry, money-grabbing autocrat.


  5. joshua says:

    The war with North Korea never ended…only a cease fire was agreed to…no formal peace was EVER declared….So, the USA and North Korea technically are at war, and Congress would not have to authorize a war power to the POTUS?

    Sixty-four years ago the Korean War, which raged from 1950 to 1953 and killed more than 36,000 American soldiers, was suspended with a cease-fire agreement. A peace treaty, however, was never signed. The war never came to a formal end.

    North Korean leaders have long attached importance to formally ending the war. Over the years they have repeatedly raised the prospect of a peace treaty to resolve the many issues that the 1953 armistice left unaddressed, most notably agreement on the permanent division of the Korean Peninsula.

    At various times the North Koreans have proposed negotiating a treaty with the United States, at other times with South Korea. In recent years, China has also urged the opening of such negotiations.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Atticus says:

    PDJT is a smart guy. In business, you have a chief negotiator and an expert team around him/her for support.
    I see this entire escapade as a team effort.
    One that will hopefully pay off in the end.


  7. OverWatch says:

    We are living in interesting times!


  8. trapper says:

    The United States has been in an economic, ideological, cultural, and political war with China since Mao took over. Some might argue that what that describes is an existential struggle, but that is another discussion.

    Nixon tried to appease them, Clinton sold them our defense technology, Bush and Obama stuck their fingers in their ears and tried to wish the problem away, and globalist American businessmen flat out betrayed their country and their fellow citizens and went over to the other side for money. President Trump is the first American president to recognize that we are already in an economic war, and is the first one to fight back. The only question on the table is whether China will surrender Nork nuclear capability before they can hit Hawaii, or whether the US will be forced to destroy it ourselves. We shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. trapper says:

    Basically, I view Nork as a giant beta test site for Chinese nuclear technology. It’s China. Not fat boy Kim.


  10. daughnworks247 says:

    I always thought Libya specialized in Light Sweet Crude, which was a plus to Europe. Hmmm.


  11. He’s redefining the presidency for the benefit of ALL Americans.


  12. jeans2nd says:

    Well, let’s see. Putin rescued Obama’s backside in the Syria Chem weapons “red line” fiasco, only to be stiffed by Obama. Putin needs a friend right about now, it would seem. Putin also needs to find a way out of the Crimea-Ukraine debacle.

    What to do, what to do? Macron is in trouble at home as well. But Putin has much more influence over China and DPRK. And Macron has Auntie Angie watching out for him.

    Oh heck, let’s play with the oligarchs and see how well they really play. Mebbe the Russian oligarchs might also learn how to take a bit better care of their own people at the same time. Baby Boy Macron can watch the Masters at work, and can play next round. Why not?


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