100. THE RUSSIANS
Seems like just yesterday that everybody was razzing the Russians cause we kicked their commie asses in the Cold War. For a while, they even seemed to drift off the world stage... A superpower reduced to the status of a bum. Meanwhile, the US was taking laps around the stadium and waving the flag, while the home crowd chanted "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"
That whole period is likely to be a source of great amusement for the Russians in the near future. With their massive remaining fossil fuel endowment (#1 in gas reserves, #2 in coal reserves, pumping 8.8mbd of crude while only consuming 2.7mbd), now it's America that's starting to look like the bum. The whole resource war option is off the table: nobody's going to be taking Russia's fuels, because anybody who tries is going to get a nuclear bloody nose. Ain't no options left, except to beg. In fact, all the bums are queueing up: Europe, China, Japan, the US. Yes, that's gonna be real satisfying when the US puts out its shaky junky palm for a hand-out. In the spirit of Francis Fukuyama, we might call that the "Denouement of History" -- you know, the witty chapter after the "End".
It does make you wonder how long the fiction of the "free" crude/gas market is going to last. The Russkies have damn near cornered the market, and it's only a matter of time til they start dragging their feet, exercising their cartel powers, and vacuuming out the wallets of their addict customers. Personally -- if I were a commie, and not the red-blooded stars & stripes American that I am -- I wouldn't release a drop until the whole G7 lined up and kissed V. I. Lenin's freeze-dried bunghole.
Reagan was right. Those Russians are evil. A bunch of conniving commie chess players. They totally faked us out with geopolitical Rope-a-Dope... Pretending like they collapsed for 15 years, so they could come back and whip us in the last round.