Samarra lies about 70 miles due north of Baghdad. That's where the Sunni Islamist militants
are nibbling at the outskirts of this ancient city. They have already overrun Iraq's northern oil
fields, refineries and pipelines. With a small, combat seasoned, heavily armed force, they may
capture the northern half of Iraq. Native Sunni tribal chiefs, the military and the police have
largely quit their posts. No refugee flow has has grown so large in so quick a time in history.
The militants have naturally hit all the banks on the road to Baghdad and have scooped up tons
of abandoned weaponry. They hold a huge territorial area area with a small force but lots of local assistance.
The Iraqi government is imperiled, the Kurds rush to defend their border, and Turkey is busy
warning the Islamist militants off. It has the makings of a very big story, and how it plays out
from here will fascinate. But for the markets in the near time there will be the question of what happens to the production, refinement and transport of crude and downstream products from
this major producer. WTIC Crude Daily
Oil is in an uptrend and is challenging resistance again. Reaction to this explosive situation in
Iraq has been muted so far, but things are happening at lightening speed on the ground.
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!