There are times when an infographic is so compelling I take a screen shot of it. Previously such an image would have been the ‘seed crystal’ for an article here, but now I’ve found one I want to duplicate using Tableau. This came from a LinkedIn post entitled Welcome to the new normal. Clock’s ticking, Venezuela, by Eurasia Group.
So what are we looking at here? I see the following:
- An X-Y graph of log population vs. years to deplete oil reserves AND sovereign wealth funds.
- Pie charts of oil and other income per nation
- Pies sized by government revenue in billions.
- A dividing line separating those who are stressed from countries which are considered more robust.
There are some textual or implicit characteristics of this infographic:
- Oil prices are $50/bbl over the long haul.
- Each country’s break even cost per barrel known, but unstated.
- Countries maintain export to internal use ratio, avoiding the Export Land Model trap.
There are some other issues that matter when considering the implications of $50/bbl oil. Sixteen years of oil prices and oil rig count are an instructive visualization.
The global oil industry has crashed hard, down to less than $30/bbl this spring. The reasons are more geopolitical than economic – Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia – go nose around and see if you can detect the calculus behind prices and production volume.
Another interesting graph is the long term Baltic Dry Index, and we’re going to start watching the container oriented HARPEX, too. All we need for the moment is the BDI, which is a proxy for global trade. The DJIA is a measure of investor sentiment and we’ve all seen multiple bubbles in our lives, but it takes a really big one like 2008 to drag the BDI higher. As a rule, people don’t rent dry bulk freighters and pay in advance, hoping to rent them to others at a higher rate.
What does that infographic tell us? It separates those with small sovereign wealth funds OR oil that is costly to produce from those who are either savers or cheap producers. But I really question its accuracy, because …
- Why is Libya in the safe zone, when it basically no longer exists as a country?
- Oman’s government leans heavily on oil, but it’s diversified aggressively.
- Why isn’t Algeria listed, because they’ve got ISSUES.
I’m not suggesting this is a bad infographic, to the contrary, it neatly sums up some serious issues from the perspective of an analyst that knows oil production. But it does show the hazards in trying to abstract nearly a dozen dimensions of information into a flat 2D representation.
My initial thought was to replicate this work, but having critiqued it, I’m not sure I’m willing to spend the time, given how quickly things are moving in the Ethereum realm.