Is love in the air this Valentine Day? It might not be love but it certainly is change. On this Valentine's Day we know that the world is very different than it was a year ago. Now in the aftermath of the joyous celebration in Egypt, the oil market is trying to guess what regime is going to fall next. In a matter of months popular uprisings have ousted two governments and the momentum and confidence from the people and their success is spreading throughout the region. We have seen demonstrations in Yemen and protesters defied the government on OPEC member Algeria as they marched in a downtown square. Revolution is in the air and dictators and leaders throughout the Middle East had better be on guard because the people have had enough. They are tired of being repressed. They are tired of the way their country's wealth is siphoned off so that a few at the top are insanely rich and the masses of citizenry suffer in ghettos. They demand freedom of information as it is harder to restrain free speech with the power of the internet and the rise of the social network. The power to keep the people ignorant is diminishing yet of course don't think that will stop some leaders from trying. Take for example Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi who according the Reuters News said that Palestinian refugees should capitalize on the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East by massing peacefully on the borders of Israel until it gives in to their demands. This is classic bait and switch and Mr. Gaddafi is desperately trying to align with the people's discontent and redirect it towards what he sees as a common foe. Hopefully that will redirect the anger of his own people that hold Mr. Gaddafi in less than kindly regard than the Egyptians do for Mr. Mubarak. Oil prices overnight hit the lowest level since November 30th while Brent crude is still hanging tough on revolution contagion risk and ongoing problems with North Sea production.
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