Over time, I’ll be introducing readers of this blog to a series of 10 specific Domino Principles. These Principles provide a framework for taking control of our lives and businesses, navigating the present, and shaping an exceptional future. In this article, I’m using the news of the past week coming out of Marathon Oil to introduce “Domino Principle #4: Distress Potential.” (The Domino Principle framework is still evolving and somewhat fluid. Things may change.)
“It may be taken for granted that, rash as the Americans are, when they are prudent there is good reason for it.”
— Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
Who wins and who loses from the drop in the price of oil? That is a complex question, one which we will continue to explore on The Domino Principle for some time to come. Today we take a look at it from a broad geographic perspective, examining which areas around the world win or lose overall, heavily referencing 13 articles I’ve found which address the topic in great depth. In each case I provide the link to the source material for a fuller explanation.
Connections was an amazing 1978 documentary television series and book created, written and presented by science historian James Burke. It demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology.
Years later the success of Connections in syndication led to two sequel series, Connections² (1994) and Connections³ (1997).
Connections illustrates The Domino Principle in action over periods of thousands of years. Fortunately, many if not all of the Connections episodes are now viewable online. So over time, I’ll be sharing episodes of this series with our readers.
“When we embrace what lies within, our potential has no limit. The future is filled with promise; the present rife with expectation. When we deny our instinct, and struggle against our deepest urges, uncertainty begins. Where does this path lead? When will the changes end? Is this transformation a gift or a curse? For those who fear what lies ahead, the most important question of all – can we ever really change what we are?” –Mohinder Suresh, “The Fix,” Heroes.
In yesterday’s post we looked at the price of oil from a historical perspective and discussed the factors leading to the steep decline over the past year.
So today let’s take a look at what might happen to the price of oil and gasoline in the future.
First a disclaimer… I’m not an energy industry analyst. I’m not a stock or commodity trader. And until a few weeks ago I’d never been terribly concerned with nor knowledgeable of the factors that influence short term changes in the price of oil or gasoline. If you think being an “expert” is important, just read this December 11, 2014 article from the Wall Street Journal: WSJ Survey: Oil Prices Are Near Their Bottom. The “experts” then predicted that the price of oil would not go any lower than $60/barrel, and would rise to around $65/barrel by the end of the year. Instead, prices continued to drop to around $45/barrel by mid-January, rebounding (at least for the moment) to $50.56/barrel today as this article goes to press.
“The frackers did labor and toil
To extract it out of the soil
But OPEC production was high
And demand less than supply
So down went the price of the oil.”
Before we start looking at the repercussions of the precipitous drop in the price of oil over the past year, let’s first set the stage in this post by putting the price drop into an historical context and understanding the factors that led to its occurring.
This graph shows historical crude oil prices per barrel for the past 10 years, trading at $49.07 as I post this article:
There’s a storm coming. I can feel it in my bones.
(Dominoes tiles are, not so coincidentally, also known as “bones.”)
We live in an increasingly dynamic and dangerous world. Have you ever struggled to understand how the repercussions of disruptive events, like the dramatic drop in the price of oil, the expansion of global terrorism, the fiscal consequences of having an out-of-control national debt, or the environmental effects of global warming, will affect you, your family and your business?
“DOminoes aren’t much for sitting around in a box on a shelf somewhere. They prefer to engage minds and entice them into thinking up winning strategies. Dominoes are activists. Their first name is DO.” –– M. Daniel Nickle
So it is time to launch my first new venture in 10 years.
Thinking about the 10 million things we will need to focus on over the coming months to turn The Domino Principle™ into something that will be hugely and positively impactful for people around the world is, to be honest, a bit overwhelming and scary. But mostly, it is just plain thrilling and exciting.