The $5 Trillion Downside to Lower Oil Prices, & 4 More Things You'll Want to Know Today

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The Midland/Odessa part of West Texas still supplies much of the USA with oil.
Alamy
Here's a quick rundown from the world of business and economics this morning: the things you need to know, and some you'll just want to know.

• If oil prices fall by 25 percent or more, as some analysts predict they will next year, most Americans would cheer. But there's a downside to $70 a barrel oil: At that price, it would become too expensive to pump the crude out of Texas' Permian Basin, the second-richest oil field left in the world, thus derailing a $5 trillion energy boom. Joe Carroll and Edward Klump of Bloomberg explain what that means to us.

• China's strong growth is the biggest driver of the world economy right now: If Beijing sneezes, we're all going to get the fiscal flu. So this should worry everyone: Researchers now say the Chinese banking system is propping itself up with more and more hidden debt and "quasi-money," supported by a rapidly growing shadow banking system that is also headed for a fall. China, it seems, is barreling toward its own "Lehman Brothers moment," when a major bank collapse pushes its entire financial system over the edge.

• Just in case anyone was concerned that some federal employees might end up getting paid twice for their down-time during the recent government shutdown, this report: Because Congress approved back pay for the furloughed workers, those who got unemployment benefits will have to return the money, the Labor Department says.

• We all know by now that there are academic scientists being quietly paid by energy companies to say global warming is still a question. And we've long since learned that tobacco companies had their own stables of researchers paid to cast doubt on the health risks of smoking. Well, Wall Street has some academics in its pockets too, and they're getting paid to write columns, produce academic studies and testify, all in the name of obstructing financial reforms like the Dodd-Frank law, and to do anything they can to weaken the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- all while keeping those connections to the banking industry hidden.

• And finally, we end with a little good news: If you're one of the many who can't get through your morning at work without a cup or three of coffee, you might sometimes wonder if your caffeine habit is, perhaps, unhealthy. Fear not: Researchers from Italy have found that drinking coffee cuts the risk of the most common type of liver cancer by 40 percent. And more is better: Drinking three cups a day reduces the risk by more than half.

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jdykbpl45

Another lie from Huffington and Obama.

November 12 2013 at 5:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
cjtownsend4re

The author is a moron. Every producer faces the same issue over time as all prices fall. What do they do? Invent new ways to produce the resource more efficiently and cheaper. That is is the history of all production, escpecially for the last 200 years. Static minds think that technology is static somehow.

October 29 2013 at 3:40 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
justoldog

Check out "Leaf solar cell/Daniel Nocera ond "Bloombox fuel cell" on youtube. These 2 breakthroughs used together would give us cheap, renewable energy forever. All fossil fuels/nuclear and traditional solar/wind are now obsolete. Wanna bet we never hear of this in the mainstream news???

October 28 2013 at 11:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kafienkarl

I'll believe when I see it when crude comes down that far. Because oil is tied to the U.S. dollar it seems like always some reason to raise the price ie. foreign conflict or the refinery is down. I don't trust Wall Street or Big Oil.

October 28 2013 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kafienkarl's comment
willypfistergash

You were onto something for a minute with the dollar thingy....then you tied it in with supply issues. Can you think of anything we have been doing with dollars for the past few years? It rhymes with quantitative easing...

October 29 2013 at 12:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Warrior

So, what you're saying is that we should expect Big Oil to covertly start a war in the Middle East, so oil prices will stay high enough for us to pump oil out of the ground in the US.

October 28 2013 at 10:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Warrior's comment
willypfistergash

Big oil.can declare war?

October 28 2013 at 11:05 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
goodlucktu

It sure as hell would put more people back to work.. so they could afford to pay at least half of their required Obamacare premiums.. bring it down to 50 a barrel.. and the dogs and ponies will come out again to start a new protest... can't be without that...

October 28 2013 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

What a bunch of BS. You mean 5 trillion less in the pockets of corporations that are bulging with cash. Let me get my "crying towel" out.

October 28 2013 at 10:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to k4jlp's comment
willypfistergash

Or you could invest in profitable.corporations and quit your sniveling. Why aren't you rich?

October 28 2013 at 11:07 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
mhc4bucks

LOL lower oil prices solve the balance of payments problem. Reduce inflation expectations…and bankrupt the terrorists.

October 28 2013 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kev

So much BS.. More money in consumers pockets to spend other things then oil?? lol Kiss My

October 28 2013 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jerald3739

Seems like there isn't any place in this world where those in positions requiring honesty and integrity are behaving like that. Instead they are ignoring these attributes and are behaving like crooks and thieves, putting the big con on the population. The really sad part is that their conduct is going to have a terrible effect on all of the population.

October 28 2013 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply