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It’s amazing to look at what has happened over the last 18-24 months with regard to oil pricing. It was announced earlier in the year that it was almost a certainty that the price of petrol/gas would reach $8 a litre in the next 12 months in Australia. Like most other people around the world I braced for the ever increasing oil price, not knowing how consumers would afford such an increase in price.

In mid 2008, it was announced that grocery prices in Australia had increased by around 40% in just 12 months. This came as no shock as families large and small were feeling the effect of the increased price of energy. Whether a car owner or a user of public transport price increases could be felt everywhere – but wages certainly didn’t increase by 40% in the last 12 months as did grocery prices.

I watched with interest as OPEC met to discuss increasing oil production to assist the US and other countries in controlling the ever increasing cost of goods and services caused in no small part by the massive cost of oil (thus energy) which we rely on to survive in our economy. The result was no change in production levels which ensured the continued soaring price of oil and the ultimate crossing of the point of no return. In other words oil reached a point whereby the cost of living became too high for people to survive and the rest is history – we are now living the result of the oil price greed.

There are so many reasons in addition to the price of oil which have caused the world to be in the position that it is currently in however the price of oil has played no small part. I am thrilled to see the pricing fall and I have no sympathy for those countries that showed little foresight in allowing oil prices to remain at unsustainable levels – they now have to deal with pricing which is sure to be a fraction of the highs they enjoyed and I’m sure the price of oil is going to continue to fall – it’s music to my ears!

Greed is never a nice thing to watch and be part of and ultimately it isn’t something that leads to positive outcomes for those with greed in their hearts. As the world, soon to be led by President-Elect Obama, searches for alternative energy sources it may be just a matter of time before oil greed is a thing of the past – let’s hope for all our sake’s!

Michael Marquette

In a world where the barriers of Nation States are barely barriers and the society and economies are global in every way, the victory of President-Elect Obama has caused excitement throughout the world that is similar to the fall of the Soviet Union and the bringing down of the Berlin Wall.

It has been a monumental week for the United States and the entire world and we extend our congratulations and best wishes to President-Elect Obama and his new administration.

He enters office at one of the most important points in world history- the US is at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran and Pakistan are perhaps greater threats than North Korea, climate change fear is extreme and the need for alternative energy sources has never been more urgent and the US and world economies are in the biggest state of crisis since the Great Depression and business and consumer confidence is shattered.

I don’t envy his position but I am proud of our friends in the United States for so convincingly offering Obama a clear mandate to fulfill his promise of change. Change was needed and the United States as the engine room of the world is vital in the success and prosperity of so many nations – Australia included.

I wrote an article which is a must read which detailed the size of the American economy compared to China, UK, Japan and Germany. We can also look forward to the announcement of key cabinet positions and I believe it will be a bi-partisan administration.

The election of Barack Obama changes the world’s view that America is a racist nation and his message of ‘spreading the wealth’ provides a welcome corrective to the failed Wall Street mantra ‘greed is good.'(Thank you Henry Thornton).

I’m excited to see what reforms are put into place – including financial regulation, health, education and welfare. As an Australian we enjoy so many safety net protections (although they are far from perfect) and the US reforms may lead to benefits throughout the entire world.

George W Bush has spent like someone spending other people’s money (maybe things would be different if it actually was money coming from his own bank account) and Obama has to resolve this situation as well as a host of other things already discussed.

He is a classy, charismatic man who appears genuine and committed to change for the good of all. He has so far relied on high quality advisers, has kept his nerve, been rational and displayed an infectious level of energy. Good luck President-Elect Obama.

Michael Marquette

FYI: Read more articles on Obama, and the US Election Race

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