Boy, Am I Glad We Have Experts.

Because no one I know would possibly have thought of this:

Strike on Iran Would Roil Oil Markets, Experts Say

You know, I’m kind of an expert, in a specific field. And one thing I try and coach my teams about is that we need to state the obvious where we have to, but that if we don’t have anything nonobvious to add to it, we probably ought to just go home.

17 thoughts on “Boy, Am I Glad We Have Experts.”

  1. bq. …we need to state the obvious where we have to, but that if we don’t have anything nonobvious to add to it, we probably ought to just go home.

    I’m wondering how you think this statement fits into that philosophy:

    bq. We need a robust domestic set of systems – an infrastructure – to protect us both against natural disaster and against intelligent terrorists who will eventually exploit our natural vulnerabilities.


    And, actually, I’m not so sure the statement is obvious or even all that accurate, given that Iran is only responsible for about 6% of the “world’s oil production.”:

    That’s about the same fraction of our GDP that goes toward defense spending….

  2. I’m no expert on markets, Alan, but I know that a change in one supply of oil effects the price of other supplies. A change in 6% of the oil supply can affect 100% of the market.

    At the risk of piling on obviousness, 6% of world oil production is a lot of oily substance. Just like that teensy percentage of GDP spent on defense is a lot of dollars, as our anti-war friends are wont to remind us.

    At if it weren’t obvious. Like, duh. We know all of our cool guns and planes cost money. We know that giving Iraqis free toothpaste costs money. We know that an Abrams tank costs more than a VISUALIZE PEACE bumper sticker.

    I disagree with A.L. – I think the Washington Post needs to tell its readers more super-obvious stuff. Like “Use Your Damn Turn Signals, You Idiots” and “Shooting Guns in the Street is Illegal” and “Illegality is a Bad Thing, Not a Good Thing”.

  3. CNN is the king of the no-shit-Sherlock headline, and they could pick up some great stories from this thread. “Bush Credibility Low With Anti-Bush Groups” and “Alan Prone to Exaggeration, Glen Says”.

  4. Robin,

    Defense expenditures for FY 2008 including VA and Homeland Security are expected to be a whopping $768,000,000,000.

    Or about 6% of America’s projected $13.7 trillion GDP.

  5. AL…geez, lighten up, will ya? Most of what I’ve posted on this thread was tongue-in-cheek. Trying to be funny is against the rules now?

  6. _Irrelevant, Alphie._
    I’m no alphie backer – but you called out Alan for being 50% off, then alphie responded with his.. facts that it is about 6%. Disregarding interest payments.

    How is that irrelevant?

    But back to the story at hand – do you think the editor who wrote the headline just got bored? It has to be. Maybe just wanted to read out “roil oil” over and over again.

  7. LMAO Robin. I actually pulled my number from this recent post from “Armed Liberal:”:

    bq. So the war is costing .8% of the GDP. Added to the 4.2% of GDP we’re spending on defense, we get 5.0% of GDP on defense – as opposed to 5.8% of GDP in 1988.

    And I my thumbnail calculation of Iran oil production from the source linked above came out to be 6%, when doing the actual math gives 6.5%.

    So 5% vs. 6%=”about the same fraction”.

    Real sorrry about all those exaggerations…I know they really undermine the point. Not.

  8. Alan, good gotcha, but…

    I’d suggest that there’s a world of differece between one actor in a market changing spending by x% – which is a very small fraction of the overall market, and spread across multiple industries, etc. – and changing the availability of a commodity that’s not deeply stockpiled by x%.

    If I bump my family spending by 10%, my saving accounts or credit cards might look different at the end of the year (and no, I couldn’t do it forever) – better, if California bumps it’s spending by 10% in a year, the impacts are significant but manageable. But if I cut the amount of corn that’s sold in the US by 10%, there are going to be significant impacts.

    Apples and oranges, I think…but an interesting coincidence, no?


  9. Dave, his number added in the dept of homeland security which contains immigration, customs, border patrol, FEMA and many more departments that have never been considered defense spending.

  10. We do seem to have government leaders who’re pushing for an attack on iran. So it makes some sense to remind americans that attacking iran would disrupt oil markets.

    While it’s completely obvious it’s easy to lose track of things like that when we’re talking yet again about starting a war with iran.

    Or maybe the plan is to just attack iran and then stop attacking iran and figure the iranians will accept at that point that the hostilities are over and there is no war.

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