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How Qaddafi Stays in Power

The New York Times detailed the vast amounts of money Qaddafi can tap into to buy the loyalty of political supporters, fuel his military operations and pay for mercenary groups to hound rebel groups. Over the years, Qaddafi hoarded vast sums within the Libyan Central Bank and other domestic banks around the country. This has made western efforts to freeze his assets difficult, leading some to predict he has enough cash to cling to power for some time. The funds have blunted the impact of the sharp decline in oil production since the conflicts began a month ago; the country typically pumps 1.8 million barrels per day – that number is now down to only 300,000-400,000.


Oil Prices Surge and Stocks Fall Amid Libyan Turmoil

Something that has not received much coverage yet is what effect will the democracy movements have on the world’s economy.  This NY Times piece reports on how oil prices and investments.  The price of Brent crude oil has risen 1% while the price of Sweet Crude Oil has risen from  $5.30 a barrel to $95.01 a barrel.  Regarding Libya, any disruption of the oil supply will have major negative effects on Europe.

Europe, which accounts for more than 85 percent of Libya’s crude exports, was bracing Tuesday for the possibility of supply disruptions. The International Energy Agency said that Italy would be the most immediately affected because it receives 22 percent of its crude imports from Libya. In the United States, Libya accounts for 0.5 percent of imports.