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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Plunging Oil Prices Have Far-Reaching Effects

From Bloomberg:
The plummeting price of oil means no more trout ice cream. 
Coromoto, a parlor in Merida, Venezuela, famous for its 900 flavors, closed during its busiest season in November because of a milk shortage caused by the country’s 64 percent inflation rate, the world’s fastest. 
That’s the plight of an oil-producing nation. At the same time, consuming countries like the U.S. are taking advantage. Trucks, which burn more gasoline, outsold cars in December by the most since 2005, according to data from Ward’s Automotive Group. 
The biggest collapse in energy prices since the 2008 global recession is shifting wealth and power from autocratic petro-states to industrialized consumers, which could make the world safer, according to a Berenberg Bank AG report. Surging U.S. shale supply, weakening Asian and European demand and a stronger dollar are pushing oil past threshold after threshold to a five-and-half-year low, with a dip below $40 a barrel “not out of the question,” said Rob Haworth, a Seattle-based senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which oversees about $120 billion.
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