Summary of The Oil Factor

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Rating

8

Qualities

  • Applicable
  • Innovative

Recommendation

Authors Stephen and Donna Leeb present a compelling futuristic investment scenario that leaves you thinking, "You know, they just may be right." Their approach avoids the sky-is-falling, bus-rushing-toward-the-precipice breathlessness that is common to many books that predict impending doom and gloom. The authors escape slipping on that particular patch of oil by basing their conclusions on established facts and keen analysis. For example, they rely on the widely accepted principle of Hubbert’s Law when they assert that worldwide oil production will soon begin to decline. That’s hardly news, but they take it a step further. They predict rising oil prices will spur inflation and the Fed will be unable to jack up interest rates to dampen it. High consumer indebtedness and the profound need to keep home values high (which props up consumer spending - the real engine that fuels American prosperity) will render the vaunted Fed feckless. Is it true? Well, about once a decade an Armageddon-is-coming book emerges that ought to be read by every investor, if only so that you know enough about what might happen to dodge it. getAbstract.com says this may be the one. One thing is clear regarding the global economic engine: it’s time to check the oil.

About the Authors

Stephen Leeb, the author of four previous books, is president of Leeb Capital Management. He is editor of The Complete Investor newsletter. Donna Leeb, his wife and collaborator, is a business writer. The couple also co-authored Defying the Market.

 

Summary

This Just In...

It is the fall of 1960 and your local newspaper has just fallen on your doorstep. Reporters are covering Kennedy’s dashing style and Nixon’s five o’clock shadow. Headlines involve Nikita Khrushchev, two tiny islands called Quemoy and Matsu, and the fledgling space program. Oil is less than $2 barrel - yes, per barrel - and U.S. production fulfills 70% of its domestic needs.

The year’s most important news item, buried in the back pages, generally goes unnoticed. A handful of countries announce the formation of a loose coalition. These unheralded states have never acted in unison before, and their inchoate affiliation goes virtually unnoticed. The association is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting States, to be known as OPEC. The world little suspects that these nations - Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Nigeria, Ecuador - have just created an institution that arguably will be the single largest factor influencing the world’s economy over the next half century.

A decade later, in 1970, another milestone also draws little notice. After moving up for years, U.S. domestic oil production peaks and begins to drop. This ...


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