Falling oil price
Apropos of the column “Oil at $5 a barrel” (FE, January 28), the author makes just the right connections between capitalism’s sins and the present day inequality and despair. While the US can bail banks and businesses out, smaller nations can hardly afford to do so. Capitalism-driven politics has always worked to undermine and erode any alternative economic ideology. The columnist thus makes the fair point that once oil money pipes down, Saudi Arabia and Iran both can’t fund religious fundamentalists. That would mean the 300 million in the Middle East finally will get a chance to participate in economic activity that isn’t constantly disrupted. That way, as columnist Jamal Mecklai points out, the global economy can grow a further 1%. There is also the impact on the commodities market. Hopefully, the oil price fall will bring down the prices of most things needed today down to a level where the common man doesn’t feel a pinch in purchasing for household needs. There are also some disastrous consequences of the oil price fall, as one can see. It will perhaps beat down investment in green energy sources as well as restrict shale exploration. Any trend of increase in hydrocarbon-based oil would be environmentally damning.