The Renaissance of Louisiana -Laissez les bon temps rouler!


In my opinion, Louisiana, while consistently being America’s lovable loser on education, health, poverty, violent crime (most of which resides in New Orleans but precipitates into the statewide statistics and economic GDP), has some of the most interesting and colorful history as well as some of the most interesting personalities cultivated in the nation’s 25th most populous state, writes The Ghost of Jean Lafitte.

Lil Wayne, Peyton Manning, Terry Bradshaw, Johnnie Cochran, Ellen DeGeneres, and Harry Connick Jr are all individuals aside from their celebrity status that have ubiquitous personalities that make them impossible not to like! However, to this author and I shall remain hidden under the veil, there is nobody more interesting than the pirate from the 1800s by the name of Jean Lafitte! 

Jean Lafitte set up shop in New Orleans around 1805. After the Embargo Act of 1807, he moved his operation to the swamps of Barataria Bay, south of New Orleans. His most notable achievement besides being a pirate was his denial of a British bribe of millions  to show the “red coats”  the maps of the Barataria bay for a southern invasion of New Orleans during  the War of 1812 and his subsequent and persistent proposition to a reluctant Andrew Jackson to let him and his vagabonds participate with Jackson and his Tennessee/Kentucky militia. Of course, we all know the outcome of the Battle of New Orleans, but few know what a vital part this group of pirates played in not only alerting old hickory that his conjecture of a British invasion from Baton Rouge was wrong but of providing adept cannon and gun fire from the Mississippi River on to British forces on Chalmette Battlefield.  

So, what does the Battle of New Orleans and the 2020 Renaissance of Louisiana have in common in my mind? Quite frankly what they have in common is the statistical probability of the unexpected! The battle of New Orleans should have been lost to a vastly superior British Army that just months prior sailed into Baltimore Harbor and destroyed it with zero resistance.  Everything west of the Mississippi River that was purchased in the Louisiana Purchase statistically should be in British Control today! In fact the American victory at New Orleans in the war of 1812 was such an improbable event that I now realize that the years of gut wrenching Saints losses in the final seconds of every Minnesota Viking playoff game is simply payoff to the Gods for the improbable Victory of the Battle of New Orleans 205 years earlier…the battle was actually in 1815 history buffs!

Louisiana / New Orleans in 2020 despite having anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of its GDP devoted to Oil and Gas continues to be Americas lovable loser in economic growth finishing 49th!! 30 Million Americans are unemployed, the country is arguably headed into a depression our federal debt as a percentage of GDP is higher than the conclusion of World War 2. Of that federal debt, 40% is held by foreign investors while 60% is held domestically. 

The 2 charts provided above are the foundation for which the Ghost of Jean Laffite is belligerently and

clairvoyantly predicting that unlike the 1940s where the United States was the only country with any manufacturing capability in the world simply because Europe, Japan, and Russia were decimated. That manufacturing advantage economically enabled us to pay off the debt which of course we can’t do today because we have lost those industries in the last 20 years.

So how do we pay off this debt? The US$ dollar must decline and decline substantially to save the oil industry and allow US oil exports to compete on the global stage. A declining dollar while inflationary to the US consumer and political suicide for a first term president is in my mind a card that can be played by a second term president with a vendetta to a trading partner who has been manipulating the game for too long!! If the ghost of Jean Laffite is right, the Port of Louisiana which is the largest port  in country for gross tonnage with exports of oil and agricultural products being the beneficiary of a dollar devaluation that manifests into the renaissance of Louisiana !!

Regarding Marine fuel, I expect demand for USGC HFO to increase as cargo fleet vessels next to cruise ships are the most equipped with scrubbers. The spread between USGC HFO and USGC 0.5 has decreased from 450 per barrel in December 2019 to 410 as of June 2020, perhaps discounting this expected demand. Furthermore, two of the biggest agricultural exporters are expecting a North American bumper crop this fall and winter. 

Like the battle of New Orleans…it’s a long shot!! Let the good times roll has been the cliché but as we say down here in 2020 “ If you die of old age its your own fault!” 

– The Ghost of Jean Lafitte 

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