Tags: oil | price | plunge | growth

Minyanville CEO Harrison: Oil Plunge Isn’t a Good Thing

By    |   Tuesday, 05 Jun 2012 07:30 AM

Most American consumers are celebrating the recent drop in oil prices, which has pushed gasoline down to a national average of $3.59 a gallon. But Todd Harrison, CEO of investing site Minyanville, says we’ve got it all wrong, because falling oil prices are actually a sign of sluggish economic growth.

“Oil at $50 is a lot more problematic than oil at $150, because it’s endemic of slowing growth,” he tells Yahoo. Crude oil has hit a seven-month low of $81.21.

A price decline does spark some spending, like a tax break, Harrison says.

Editor's Note: I Wish I Were Wrong — Economist Laments Being Right. See Interview.

“But if crude is at $150, odds are other asset classes are there with it, including stocks. So you have a wealth effect that will more than make up for prices at the pump.”

Harrison is dismayed at the attack on speculators over oil prices. The current environment makes speculators an easy target on Main Street and in Washington, he says.

What it amounts to is a war on capitalism itself, Harrison argues. “If we’re not careful how we move forward, . . . our free market capitalist system is in danger of survival for the next 10 to 20 years.

Many experts expect oil to fall further.

“We’re very, very negative on the outlook” for oil demand this year, Johannes Benigni, managing director of JBC Energy in Vienna, tells Bloomberg.

“Economic indicators are not looking great [in developed economies.]”

Editor's Note: I Wish I Were Wrong — Economist Laments Being Right. See Interview.




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2012-30-05
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