Posts Tagged ‘london’

Helicopter Crash In South London

January 16, 2013

Huffington Post
Robert Barr

LONDON — Police say two people were killed when a helicopter crashed Wednesday during rush hour in central London after apparently hitting a construction crane on top of a building.

Two people were taken to a nearby hospital with “minor injuries,” London Ambulance Service said.

The helicopter crashed just south of the River Thames near the Underground and mainline train station at Vauxhall, and the British spy agency MI6.

Video on Sky News showed wreckage burning in a street, and a large plume of black smoke rose in the area. The video from the crash scene showed a line of flaming fuel and debris.

Witness reports that the helicopter hit a crane atop a 50-story residential building, the St. George Wharf Tower, were not immediately confirmed.

The Ministry of Defense said it was not a military helicopter, and a British security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the press said the incident was not terror-related.

London Fire Brigade said it was called at 8 a.m. to a report of a crash on Wandsworth Road on the south bank of the Thames.

“There was a flash and the helicopter plunged to the ground. It exploded and you can imagine the smoke coming out of it,” Paul Ferguson, an office worker near the scene, told BBC News.

“The top of the crane was actually obscured by fog so I didn’t see the impact,” Michael Gavin told the BBC. “But I heard a bang and saw the body of the helicopter falling to the ground along with pieces of the crane and then a large plume of smoke afterwards.”

Erin Rogers, who was waiting at a bus stop near Vauxhall Station, said she “heard a bang and saw bits of crane debris falling to the floor.”

“Then the helicopter was in flames. The rest of the people at the bus station were looking on going, `What was that?'”

Police said the helicopter appeared to have hit a crane.

Early reports indicated the crane was at St. George’s Wharf, a high rise apartment complex with apartments that offer sweeping river and city views.

The area, roughly 10 blocks from the major Waterloo train and Underground station, is extremely congested during the morning rush hour. Many commuters arrive at the main line stations from London’s southern suburbs and transfer to buses or trains there.

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Film: Trailer for ‘Secret City’

November 17, 2012

What goes on in the Square Mile stays in the Square Mile, until now…

….

MSM Firewall Breach: Daily Express Run With 21st Century Wire Story on Child Actor Exposing Abuse, Paedophilia at BBC and Westminster

October 17, 2012

21st Century Wire
Editor

Sometimes, we’re winning.

It’s not often that the establishment mainstream press runs with a story which was broken exclusively on this website, let alone any other grass roots alternative news portal online.

One such crack in the MSM information firewall appeared today, as London’s Daily Express ran this story today: ‘SEX ABUSE RIFE AT BBC SAYS BEN FELLOWS’. In this instance, we will tip our hats to the Express for choosing to run an authentic story from the alternative press.

In fact, this is a story which we published here exclusively last Friday, entitled ‘‘I RAN THE GAUNTLET OF PEDOPHILES IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY’, SAYS FORMER CHILD ACTOR’ . It was an immediate internet hit, and went viral virtually overnight.

We had originally emailed our article to The Guardian, The Daily Mail and others and received no response, other than an acknowledgement of interest by the Daily Mail. In the meantime, the story went viral, and has since been mirrored on a number of top websites and blogs, including popular Fleet Street and Canary Wharf gossip hangout for hacks, Guido Fawkes, and with the help of other high-traffic UK news portals like DavidIcke.com, and being the most read story on other sites including Before It’s News – all in all, making this story impossible for even mainstream hacks to ignore.

Because of the Express article,  the story is now out there for millions more to see (especially readers who don’t go online), thanks to the bravery of former child actor, Ben Fellows, who chose to step forward as yet another voice exposing some of the systematic and institutional rot, and pedophilia  which has plagued the BBC, the entertainment industry as a whole and various corridors of power in Westminster and Britain, as well as in America – for far too long. But Fellows made the key point in all of this – that the Jimmy Savile Affair is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s prompted many others to tell all, and thanks to the tireless work of people in this country like Brian Gerrish, Bill Maloney, and David Icke, along many others, child abuse in secret by those who occupy high seats of power will continue to be exposed to the public, again and again. Now this is out today…

We hope that by one person stepping up and telling their own story, that other will feel empowered and not afraid to follow suit. At the very least, it should serve as a stark warning to any parents who are rushing to pass their own children through the seedy world of entertainment and fame.

This recent story in the Express is also proof that a small operation in  the alternative media can influence and feed the mainstream media on timely and important themes. This shows that the alternative media is making a difference – and we are winning the battle for the waking generation. One could say that the paradigm is gradually shifting. We saw it happen this week.

See Ben Fellows in the Daily Express here.

THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE: ‘It’s not rocket science’

November 23, 2011

21st Century Wire
November 23, 2011

It’s not rocket science. If you wish to get vocal and active on the subject of the global financial collapse, then it is key that you learn the basic fundamentals of the argument and commit them to memory. Here is short film that will get you started on your path to social enlightenment, including a good Ska tune to learn…

Decline of the West: Blood-lust in the streets of Libya suffices for justice

October 21, 2011

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
October 21, 2011

It appears that Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi may have been handed down his final verdict by NATO rebels, but it’s perhaps an even more bloody awful fate already suffered by a morally detached western civilization.

The man who liberated his country from the tyrannical monarchy of King Idris back in 1969… was tried and sentenced by bullet today.

Gaddafi modeled himself after Omar MukhtarThe Lion of the Desert, the only other man who has led a genuine, independent Libyan resistance, fighting against a brutal Italian colonization in 1927. Yet, our media tell us he’s just another dead tyrant.

Unable to conceal her philistine nature, pathetic US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the opportunity to crack a predictably disingenuous joke. When hearing the news of Gaddafi’s death she cackled as she told reporters, “We came, we saw, he died!”

 News clip of Hillary Clinton’s cackle over the death of Libya’s Gaddafi

This has become the new narrative in the US and western Europe now, where foreign leaders and other non-state actors with brown skin are given lengthy trials through press briefings by suited politicians in places like Washington, London and Paris, echoed by the corporate media until an antagonist is born for public consumption.

Following the White House’s comical staged hoax of SEAL Team 6′s gallant raid on long-dead Osama bin Laden, and with no evidence to show it actually happened other than President Obama’s TV speeches- we get the next public assassination. After all, Obama’s far-fetched tale of the bin-Laden mission somehow vindicated all those innocent lives ruined by US incarceration and outright torture of thousands of young men since the War on Terror officially began in 2001.

Al Jazeera will no doubt play the shaky cell phone video of the man being stripped and dragged through the streets of Sirte by the NATO rebel mob. Somehow they believe, Gaddafi’s brutal post-mortem will vindicate their careless efforts and somehow make right the thousands of innocents who have perished- so that Libya can finally become part of the globalist, debt-based, neoliberal economic IMF system.

The west and its banking elite have nothing left to plunder other than middle class pension funds and incomes at home, so they are relying on plundering countries in the east and south in order to refill its sadly diminishing coffers. This is the only way to get their hands on any real liquidity or assets.

JUSTICE? Gaddafi could never be put on trial by the West, it's a stage they cannot afford to give him.

The same treatment was given to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Like Gaddafi and Osama bin Laden, he worked hand in hand with America’s CIA and Britain’s MI6 in order to help western intelligence agencies achieve their operational goals, and thus the foreign policy objectives of the US, Great Britain and Israel. Grainy cell phone videos of Saddam’s circus execution somehow vindicated those in the west who liquidated so many innocent Iraqi lives since 1991, and arguably before.

This is the new trend in dispensing due process, in a declining western civilization where blood-lust suffices for justice.

After the protracted media trials of both Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein, globalist power-brokers will never allow their war criminals to stand trial and spill the beans on all their dirty little secrets.

Over the last few decades, both Americans and western Europeans have become well-trained media consumers, and absorb their talking points much in the same way that grade school children dutifully repeat after their teachers and walk in single file. As adults, their teachers are CNN, FOX, the BBC, and the newest addition to the state information corps, US CENTCOM’s own Al Jazeera. None of them have any genuine moral or ethical perspective left in their editorial vision. The corporate networks will reserve any real humanitarian compassion for a handful of trapped miners, baby seals, missing Caucasian children and Amanda Knox.

Our new teachers have taught the dutifully minded among us that when the mob labels a head of state or non-state actor as a tyrant, then regime change must take place, and that this man deserves to die. They have taught us that one dead US soldier is worth more in headlines than 100 dead brown-skinned Iraqis, Afghanis, Palestinians, or Libyans- women and children included. That is the overwhelming power of the 21st century media.

Will Libya have anything near the stability it enjoyed over the last 30 years? Will its people enjoy the mountain of state benefits available to them under the Gaddafi rein? Will Libyans be able to retain ownership of their country’s bounty of natural resources, and see the state reinvesting its profits back into their country for the benefit of future generations?

History has taught us that the answer to each and every one of these questions is of course…no.

History has written all over the sands of  the Maghreb of North Africa, and Libya in particular. It has always been under the thumb of one empire or another- from the Romans, the Spanish, the Vatican’s Knights of Malta, the Ottomans, and Mussolini’s Italy.

Libya’s first brush with America came in the early 19th century, when war broke out between the United States and what was then  referred to as Tripolitania, in what came to be known as the Barbary Wars. Only this time around the Barbary pirates are on the other side of the fighting, and they are known the world over by the name of ‘NATO’.

It’s only fitting that this latest chapter of history should be written as follows…

It was clear from day one that the Anglo-American empire, along with its clients like Qatar, were actively supporting and planning to bring destabilization to the country. From the very first days of the civil war in January 2011, before the shell casings had even hit the ground, western envoys and consultants worked with known al-Qaida fighters and criminals in Libya to form a new NTC government, a new central bank and a new state oil holding company. NATO were deployed to give brutal air support to these new gangs of rebel paramilitaries, and for nearly 10 months, both those groups killed, tortured, raped and looted everything in their path.

Meanwhile, offshore transnational corporations from the US, Europe and Qatar carved up the country’s assets. Months followed years of instability, infighting and acts of internal retribution followed. The poor became poorer, the rich became richer, organized crime blossomed and thousands of middle class Libyans were allowed to immigrate to the UK, France and Italy.

This would come to be known as Libya’s liberation.

What it means

The UN issued the citation, and NATO came in with the tow truck. Make no mistake, in the real world, NATO is the USA and the USA is NATO. It’s a politically correct way of using military force without being seen to be acting alone as an imperial aggressor. But what about the NTC’s death squads, the theft, the rape, the torture and destruction of citizens’ property, business, and whole lives?

To pass the buck a little further, NATO’s goals and end-game is handed over to Libya’s NTC, this way everyone’s asses are covered.

Politicians in Washington, London and Paris should be proud. They got everything they wanted, and with no dirt under their nails.

If no one in the US, UK, France, the UN or NATO’s technicians of death are held accountable for the sacking and looting of Libya- the crime of the 21st century, then expect that they will simply move forward, and do it again, and again. So who’s next? Syria?

There is no more moral high ground, no more western values, no beliefs to use as a back-stop for western civilization.

Was Gaddafi guilty? Is that it then, a bullet?

He will never be afforded the same trial that anyone reading this article would expect as their god-given right. So what makes any among us believe that we deserve any of these so-called rights we think we enjoy in the west?

Meanwhile, the US and UK corporate media can’t stop parading those barbaric pictures on the front page in exactly the same manner as Libya’s NATO rebels where parading corpses around town. And this is what 2000 years of civilization brought?

Who are we kidding?

UK UNREST: Patrick Henningsen on The Alex Jones Show – August 10, 2011

August 12, 2011

21st Century Wire
August 12, 2011

21st Century Wire Managing Editor Patrick Henningsen appears on The Alex Jones Show to discuss the recent unrest in London and other parts of the UK this week.

READER COMMENT: “To claim that these disaffected youths are the vanguard of some organic revolutionary movement is completely asinine. If this is a genuine backlash against the establishment, why are the mobs not congregating around Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace, the real culprits of Britain’s economic degradation. Why instead are they busy filling trolleys full of tennis shoes, mobile phones, along with plentiful supplies of booze and cigarettes from tiny local off-licenses?”

FORCED TO STRIP NAKED IN THE STREET: Shocking scenes as rioters steal clothes and rifle through bags

August 12, 2011

Editor’s Note: Sadly, what we are witnessing here can be summed up as a racially motivated incident using humiliation in order to establish social dominance. In a lawless environment, any gang will use their upper hand to carry out unspeakable acts and this is one example of what we can expect, an act which can destroy decades of integration and racial progress. It could be anyone of any colour, but you cannot deny after seeing these multiple reports that there is a very real and negative, economically-fueled, and territorial-based racial tension that exists under the surface in some areas of the UK. 1000 years ago, this would have been defined as tribal strife, but today in modern Britain, the tribes are perveived through economic status, and also colour.

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By Daily Mail Reporter
August 11, 2011

This picture shows the shocking depths the thugs were prepared to plumb – stealing the clothes from a man’s back.

The taller, broader man already holds a pair of white and green trainers and a white T-shirt in his hands. Now, it seems, he wants the trousers too.

The shorter man dutifully removes his jeans, leaving only his dark blue underpants and his white socks.

Humiliation: A young man is forced to strip to his underpants in the street, having apparently already handed his T-shirt and trainers to a looter. There were unconfirmed reports last night of victims being made to strip in Deptford, south London, and in Birmingham (PHOTO: Twittter)

The image appeared on Twitter as internet rumours claimed that, on top of widespread violence and looting across London, thugs were even removing clothing from  their victims.

Several people on Twitter claimed there have been incidents of victims being stripped naked in Deptford, South London and Birmingham but, because of the very nature of the alleged incidents, the reports remain unsubstantiated.

In the photograph the ‘victim’  –  his face pixellated – stands on the kerbside in a quiet side road and appears cowed before the other man after handing over his clothing.

INSURANCE GIANTS WILL USE TAXPAYERS TO BAILOUT COST FROM UK RIOTS

August 11, 2011

After the smoke clears, elites will receive windfall profits from the UK riots

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
August 11, 2011

Following any disaster, be it man-made, or ‘Act of God’, there will be many losers, but there will also be some big winners. Some people might be surprised by who is who in this story.

First, let’s look at the losers. This past week, a series of riots ravaged London and other parts of the UK. Costs to businesses is estimated so far at GBP £100 million.

The cost to the state will be even higher because of police and law enforcement overtime bills, fire services, equipment, clean-up and repair- not to mention court costs for the 1,000 or so arrests already made. And that’s not all, as we will show you in a minute.

In a time of austerity, this past week’s events will put even further strain on the public purse. Communities will also lose much- loss of confidence, loss of commerce, income and the illusion of safety.

So who are the winners? One question one should always ask after any tragedy or event is “Qui bono?”, translated in latin it means, “who benefits” ?

Surprisingly, first in the line of winners will be… the insurance companies. Received wisdom would normally have it the other way around, but in today’s world where financial institutions make their profits private, and their losses public, it appears that once again, elites will receive a profit windfall from the state.

Grahame Trudgill, head of corporate affairs for the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), has announced that insurance companies have the right to reclaim any money they have paid out, under the Riot Damages Act of 1886. What this essentially means is that due to the UK Riots, Britain’s police forces will face a bill for potentially hundreds of millions of pounds from the City’s insurance syndicates, because business policy holders’ properties were damaged in the rioting because the “police effectively failed to keep law and order”.

Yes you heard that right. We will be covering their costs.

WHO PAYS THE BILL: Insurance companies will be recouping their losses from the State (PHOTO: REUTERS/ Dylan Martinez)

In recent years financial institutions like the insurance giants have found a new ready source of almost unlimited cash that enables them to maintain their precious bottom lines- governments.

Bailouts for insurance companies are now so commonplace in 21st century societies that they are accepted as legitimate. They offer a ‘no risk’ scenario for corporations.

In the past, massive payouts meant shortfalls in insurance company profits, and this was understandably bad for City of London business. Large disasters could bankrupt insurance companies, and in many cases around the world, this means that there would be no compensation for large-scale disaster victims, even if they were paying their premiums. The same could be the case with regards to financial collapses and domestic unrest.

So who underwrites the underwriters? Behind those insurance companies you will find the underwriters, or in City nomenclature, they are simply referred to as “the names”, and they are the men who, to a greater or lesser extent, run the country, and the world. And ‘the names’ never lose money. The corporation may collapse, or be restructured, but the names can never be put at risk. And here we are in the 21st century where insurance giants, like their banking cousins, have discovered in recent years that they can lean on the state, apply pressure on elected representatives who depend on their patronage, and secure cash for their coffers.

In the case of the London and UK riots, you can expect that any businesses located in new “risky zones” like Brixton, Clapham, Tottenham, Lewisham, Enfield, Birmingham or Manchester, will be expected to pay high premiums for insuring their business.

So following this particular man-made disaster- known as mass rioting and vandalism, insurance companies can demand higher premiums, and be compensated from the state- penny for penny, for any claims they have had to pay out. It’s a brilliant business, and business has never been better.

TREND: OTHER INSURANCE BAILOUTS

On a wider scope, companies like AIG have done the same following the financial collapse, cashing in on the ‘no risk’ bets made insuring ridiculous Banking and financial products which they knew were certain to fail. After the collapse, they could simply turn to the government and demand large sums of money, money that would simply put governments further into debt with the very large Banks who were pedaling  those same dodgy financial products.

Recently in the US, we saw a similar bailout take place when the Federal government decided to mandate health insurance for every American citizen. After all was said and done, this move guaranteed higher premiums per head for the insurance giants because the government would pay that price. Profits were secure. No wonder it was the insurance industry who wrote Obama’s health care reform bill, and not elected representatives.

OTHER RIOT WINNERS

As a result of the riots, PM David Cameron has predictably drafted up a tough new diet for the public which will include increase police powers of stop and search, surveillance, and rules of engagement. Use of the military on the streets in future is not off the table either. Curfews can now be imposed. We are nearly there, arriving at a full-blown police state.

Based on recent history, Conservative leaders in the UK have always benefited from being tough, meeting public strife with end of a brutal state truncheon. Cameron is no different, and predicably he has taken this route.

Local governments, AKA Councils, will also join in on the opportunity, increasing local taxes, imposing increased security requirements for businesses, and possibly require stricter review of insurance policies that businesses will need to operate.

Police budgets that were on the chopping block only weeks ago will most likely be secured and in some cases expanded. Salaries for the top positions will also go up, as part of the high stakes police state game where fear is the number one motivator, and number one driver of budget spending.

Quietly waiting in the wings are also the private Security firms. The private security business has grown massively since 2001, we have seen this all over the world, most notably in the US and in Europe. Where state budgets are cut for public law enforcement, expect off-budget expenses to be spent with the security industrial complex. Its main sales tool is also fear. These include, guards, CCTV technology, computer software systems, transport, logistics and possible detention. The value of these contracts in the UK alone numbers in the billions of pounds. After the riots, they are the winners.

There is a disturbing dance which has been taking place all over the UK, a dance between a cluster of groups. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, very much a financially beneficial one too. In a word, it is called extortion, and it is contributing to bringing many businesses and local communities to their knees. 

Its wheels are normally greased with brown envelopes and fueled by fear and intimidation. It’s ménage à trois, or in this case it’s a ménage à cinq, between local government, police, security firms, criminal gangs, and behind the curtains quietly sit the insurance syndicates. Each perform a role, most are parasitic relationships, each pay each other under the table, each profit from each other, and each will always ensure the existence of the other.

Failure to address this corruption means that in the event of a future trend of mass social unrest, when the dust clears, the same players will move in the take more wealth and prosperity away from businesses and communities.

The winners and losers… here we go again. When will it end? It will end when the public learn to realise and understand the architecture of the system that lords over them.

The rioters scored an own-goal of course, when they decided to hit chicken shops, shoe stores and cheap electronics vendors. A wasted effort by all accounts. If only those thousands of teenaged rioters and looters knew how their establishment was actually structured, maybe they would have choosen a target that had real revolutionary value.

It will end when communities realise that their family and neighborhood relationships ultimately mean much more, and are more valuable, than their relationships with the state and the corporations who effectively run it.

LONDON’S BURNING: ANARCHY SWEEPS THROUGH THE CITY AS RIOTING REACHES FEVER PITCH

August 9, 2011

BREAKING NEWS

By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
In London
August 9, 2011 – 2:00 AM GMT

A third night of social unrest has plagued London and the UK this past Monday evening, hitting Clapham in South London, one of the city’s major transport, rail and commercial hubs.

Groups of youths spent the evening breaking into dozens of businesses, looting, ransacking and setting fire to many of them.

Similar riots and youth vandalism has also been reported in the London boroughs of Enfield, Peckham, Lewisham, Hackney, Ealing, Notting Hill, East Ham, Woolwich, Camden and Croydon. New outbreaks and incidents are being reported by the hour.

DOZENS OF INCIDENTS: Violence sprung up all over London last night stretching police and fire services.

Trouble was not confined to the capital, as the Midlands major cities  Birmingham and Manchester, Bristol in the Southwest, as well as Liverpool in Merseyside were hit with a significant volume of violent incidents, looting and arson.

The first major riots took place on Saturday night in Tottenham North London, where local crowd reacted in response a police shooting incident. Sunday night saw copycat mass disorder, violence and looting in Brixton, South London.

The Brixton riots were not political like the Tottenham riots, rather, these were organised via gangs of youths using SMS text messages, and BBM Blackberry Messaging, in order to pick and hit their retail targets.

LAWLESSNESS HITS LONDON: Youths use rubbish bins and furniture to block vehicle access on streets (PHOTO: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

According to numerous eyewitness reports, the majority of the rioters were youths of mixed males and females between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age, and mostly of Afro-Caribbean decent, with older youths in cars directing activities.

Groups of youths as large as 200 strong were reported in some areas.

 In all cases, youths were determined  to get their hands on easy to carry away retail goods, mainly electronics, mobile phones, cloths and trainers (sneakers).

This same profile was also seen vividly in Clapham this past evening. As the situation spreads into new areas in the city and the UK, the profile of looters continues to expand to encompass nearly every ethnic demographic, but confined to working class.

In most cases, police have been slow to react to vandals, and upon arrival often being forced to stand back waiting, watching rioting youths run wild, and wait for reinforcements and fire services to arrive. By this time, the situations have spiraled out of control.

Shocking video footage of looting and violence in Clapham South London.

  RT video footage of disturbances in London last night.

In Enfield, North London, a major Sony Electronics distribution centre was sacked and then set on fire by a gang, with fire services still trying to control the blaze this morning.

Police report that approximately 250 arrests have been made so far in London.

In numerous instances tonight, mobs have turned on press and local residents who were seen to be filming with cameras and mobile phones.

Clapham resident James Downey described the scene at Clapham Junction, “This is total lawlessness, mostly we saw young teenagers who were out for a jolly, doing what they want, grabbing what they want in stores.” Downey added, “This kids obviously have no future, how could they trash their own communities if they thought they had a future. This is really sad.”

Another South London resident who is unnamed stated, “These groups of youths with their hoods and bricks are acting as if no one can stop them, they seem intent on putting fear into this community. I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The last three days’ events will undoubtedly have a catastrophic effect on London’s economy, hitting both large and small businesses and lopping additional security costs and insurance premiums on businesses across the capital and the country.

Clapham was the first high profile, middle and upper class area to get hit by this week’s social unrest in the UK.

In addition to commercial businesses, already cash-strapped public services are currently being stretched by events this week. According to Scotland Yard, over 1,700 additional police are currently being deployed the in London to deal with the violence.

Met Police Commissioner Tim Goodwin has already made a public appeal to residents to “help clear the streets”.

Voters and politicians will no doubt be clambering for more police powers and harsher court sentences for anti-social behaviour in an attempt to quell future incidents. 

Pressure will also be mounting on city officials and police to exhibit a “show of force” in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics next summer.

 Officials expect more copycat incidents to continue this week.

Stay tuned to 21st Century Wire for further reports.

OIL PRICES AND THE JAPANESE DISASTER: THE HERD GOT IT WRONG

March 14, 2011

By Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
March 14, 2011

JAPAN’S OIL DEMAND WILL BOUNCE BACK

Friday 11th trading on the US Nymex and to lower extent on the London ICE was driven by a quick sentiment-driven response to breaking news of the Japanese disaster. Refineries were on fire, ports were closed and cars, buses and trucks were floating like jetsam, in the raging tsunami. Oil traders surmised that Japan’s oil demand and its import draw on world supply were both set to fall and prices were sharply marked down through the day. Analysis…

FRIDAY TRADERS MADE A WRONG WAY BET – BUY ON THE DIP

We can ask how the Herd got it wrong, and the answer is they made a mistake in all kinds of ways. Even in the short term, probably within at most a week, Japan’s oil demand and therefore its call on world export supply will be up. The reasons are multiple…

Japan is faced by a major catastrophe. Heavy transport, cranes and earthmoving equipment, diggers and dozers will be moving into action fast. Some of these machines use a couple of barrels per hour, and both helicopter and airplane movements will be up in the ongoing rescue effort. Electric power plants have been hit, and the energy shortfall will be made up in part with oil-powered gensets. Worried Japanese will be driving where they can, when they can, and filling up on oil at every station they can find with remaining supplies. While the weather stays unusually cold in Japan, oil heating demand will also be up.

NUCLEAR POWER

The next reason that will make oil prices bounce, and can speed Japan’s oil demand recovery is the massive damage to nuclear power plants and the image of nuclear power in Japan.

Both on fundamentals and on sentiment, when nuclear power takes a hit oil will gain. We do not yet exactly know how many nuclear plants are seriously damaged, and could explode like the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, but every reactor that is down will lever up oil demand.

Sentiment will translate that to an outsized rise for oil futures, with the rise getting bigger every day the Japanese government has to sidestep and parry questions on their ageing nuclear plants and how well, or how badly they resist earthquakes and tsunami.

Where markets are concerned, there is a risk that Japan is under such stress that they can’t even get their oil ports and refineries functioning again before 10 + days, making Japan’s draw on world oil supply slower to return. But it’s unlikely. Still, since Saturday, TV news from Japan has been depicting plenty scenes of totally empty filling stations and 800-metre lines of cars searching for their next 10 litre fill per car from any remaining stations that still stock fuel.

Worldwide concern about nuclear power’s safety and real ability to deliver cheap electricity, and its real ability to save oil will grow, as the Japanese disaster deepens and more information trickles out. Whenever more balanced truthful information about nuclear power emerges, oil will always gain.

COPYRIGHT ANDREW MCKILLOP  2011

Andrew McKillop is guest writer and energy markets analyst for 21st Century Wire. He has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has extensive experience in energy policy, project administration, including the development and financing of alternate energy.