First law of petropolitics

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This was something Tom Friedman put forward during the first session of today’s PSD Forum. To paraphrase: the pace of freedom in oil producing countries and the price of oil move inversely. He backed this up with some interesting examples and facts. For these, and the other laws, see the next edition of Foreign Policy when it comes out. He only gave us a small peak.

Cho Khong of Shell agreed with Friedman, though chose to talk of ‘political reform’ instead of ‘pace of freedom.’ For example, he pointed out how periods of high growth and reform in Indonesia coincided with the periods when the price of oil was lowest and technocrats where hence necessarily brought into office.

Update 1: Video from the session is now online.

Update 2: The Foreign Policy article is out. Also see this note from the Dallas Fed on how economic freedom effects oil supplies.

Update 3: Video and transcript from First Law of Petropolitics event at the Carnegie.

Update 4: Friedman discusses petropolitics and global corruption on NPR.

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