Monday, November 11, 2013

Libyan collapse

Arab Spring is starting to look even more like Arab collapse.

The autocratic governments that were overthrown were not exactly brilliantly run organizations, but they likely could have kept kicking the can of problems down the road a little longer if they hadn't been forced out of office.

Libya Is So Chaotic That It's Struggling To Buy Bread
Ulf Laessing, Reuters, 6 November 2013 (hat tip: NC)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Payments problems, chaos and corruption are hampering Libyan importers from making big deals to buy wheat, another setback as the country spins out of control two years after dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled by rebels and NATO warplanes.
In the latest disruption, the biggest wheat importer Mahatan Tripoli, which supplies most of the capital's bread, says it may have to put off its next major wheat purchase unless the state starts paying it nearly $100 million owed for previous imports.
For months, rogue militia members have disrupted Libya's oil exports, the main source of funding for a state that feeds its six million people with subsidized bread handed out for as little as 2 U.S. cents a loaf.
To my mind, this is the threat that the recent near-implosion of the U.S. government was leaning toward.


James M Dakin said...

I say that the grain shortages caused the implosion in the Arab countries. There isn't shortages after they fell but before. We could blame Bush, but King Kenya kept up the ethanol fiasco.

PioneerPreppy said...

Ya when the governments have to stop subsidizing the food and people pay full price. It starts getting real.

russell1200 said...

James: A good point. Although, I am not sure that it was wheat, not corn, that was the main problem.

Pioneer: Yes, although it was when they started cutting back on the military (in Tunisia and Egypt) as part of the austerity program that it got ugly.

James M Dakin said...

The corn shortage effected Mexico first. The ME uses wheat, true, but wheat followed corn in price. After the ethanol price surge, then you can add in currently the drought. Yes, there are other factors. The price of oil and natural gas, inflation. But I'd maintain corn to ethanol started the whole thing and kept it going.