Six years ago, in a public presentation, people asked me what I thought would happen with the price of oil.
I had no idea. I was tempted to tell them to look at the futures market, since that would be a pretty decent predictor.
Instead I said, "I can readily imagine the price of oil will drop back to $50/bbl. Not because I have any reason to think that. It's just that I want to stick it to OPEC, including especially Iran, Venezuela, and Russia."
Well whaddya know. It isn't $50, but it's down near there.
The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil -- a U.S. benchmark -- closed today at $59.95, a level of great psychological significance. Ever since Thanskgiving, when member nations of OPEC decided not to cut oil production, prices have tumbled. But this is also part of a longer term pattern, a fall of over $40 per barrel since late June.
Also, see this from Slate about which countries will suffer the most from the low oil prices.