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The Consequences Of Trump’s Iran Standoff

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Hedge funds right now are mostly interested in how a potential war between the US and Iran will impact oil prices. Indeed, while the Trump administration itself does not seem to have a strategy or a real endgame here that it can control, plenty of damage has already been done. Iraq, it seems, is the first real victim in this escalating battle. It’s already livid that Exxon evacuated oil staff, viewing the move as an unnecessary one that sends a damaging message to investors. The rocket attack last Sunday in Iraq’s Green Zone (the first in some 8 months) was headlined in the media as “near the US Embassy in Baghdad”, and thus increased tensions further, even though it was a mile from the embassy and the perpetrators are unknown.

The Iraqi PM informed the world Tuesday that Iraq had prepared alternative routes for crude exports should a war erupt between the US and Iran. Those “alternative” routes would bypass the Strait of Hormuz and presumably reroute through Turkey, which to our mind is unrealistic. What they mean is that they would reroute oil through Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish Port of Ceyhan. The Iraqi Kurds would be the majors winners from such a deal. But Iraq already has a problem with this method of export and Iraq’s oil from the Kirkuk fields is already stranded (they were earlier trying to truck it across the border to Iran). In fact, a new round of conflict is brewing over the deal that has helped Baghdad increase crude exports and make payments to the…





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