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Opec move to cut oil production, push up prices is shortsighted – Business Daily

An oil rig. Oil producers can’t live without customers. PHOTO | FILE
The club of oil-producing nations known as Opec has decided, in this year of unprecedented hunger and historical price highs, that it’s a perfect moment to cut oil production and push oil prices up again and further. It is a grab that is far more profound in its meaning than less oil.
It has crystallised a colossal flaw in half a century of global development, where world success depended on no one losing sight of the nature of interdependency.
For, as trade blossomed and communication enjoyed a technological revolution of international connection in real-time, we engineered a planet regularly described as a global village. But now, it seems, we moved ourselves into a village where the leadership is unaccountable.
For sure, at a national level, many of us are still in a reciprocal relationship with our leaders. Laws are enacted only after an impact analysis, policies that hurt too many people jeopardise political careers and stability.
But what do we do now about our dependency on the actions of far-away heads of state, who see no accountability to us or to the state of this world village?
We could leave an actual village once leaders’ actions were leaving us hungry and insecure. But none of us – billionaires aside – can yet leave Planet Earth.
We are stuck here, ending our ‘everything’ subscriptions, pushing up our rent arrears, straining on unpaid salaries, while food and fuel prices just keep on rising, driven by decisions by other leaders that our own leadership can do nothing about.
The United Nations has emerged as moribund and helpless. And it is we, the consumers of everything, that are being disabled.
For sure, as the US president observed, harming your customer base is shortsighted. Saudi Arabia and Opec no longer seem able to compute where their oil will go when the consequences of this move have played out.
For our cancelled subscriptions will close businesses and cut jobs: the more we cannot buy, the less will be bought. The economically slashed world will buy less oil, fewer Chinese goods, and less Russian fertiliser.
Thus, the handful of states delivering this ugly and debilitating year of commodities beyond our reach will see their own people suffer, down the line, without jobs or food, once we cannot afford to buy their goods: and have worked in every way to end our dependency on them in the face of the pain it has caused us.
Destroying your customer base is always a surefire way to close a business. Producers can’t live without customers, which is the premise our entire global order was based on, until now, when harming markets is Brand 2022.
The writer is a development communication specialist.



Joseph Muongi

Financial.co.ke was founded by Mr. Joseph Muongi Kamau. He holds a Master of Science in Finance, Bachelors of Science in Actuarial Science and a Certificate of proficiencty in insurance. He's also the lead financial consultant.