Did you see that Russia has planted a rust-proof titanium flag on the seabed of the North Pole, about 4,200 metres below the surface of the water? Talk about a new cold war.
The Russians are laying claim to the vast mineral, oil, and gas reserves of the North Pole. Their effort to conquer and claim the Arctic did not impress the normally mild-mannered Canadians. “This isn’t the 15th century. You can’t go around the world and plant flags and say ‘we’re claiming this territory,’” said Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay.
Maybe it is the 15th century, though. The global competition for scarce resources and tangible assets has reached a new phase. The popping of the US mortgage-lending bubble reminds people that metals and oil are more valuable than mortgages and CDOs. It wouldn’t surprise us at all to see more aggressive national claims made on off-shore oil and gas and minerals. This is bullish for prices, although bearish for geopolitical peace and harmony.
Markets and Money
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