Just 261 days ago, US President Joe Biden exchanged an enthusiastic fist bump with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. However, times have changed drastically, and a surprise OPEC+ decision to cut over 1 million barrels of production sent shockwaves over the oil industry. This isn’t the typical act of an oil cartel looking to turn a quick buck on the back of chaos and dismay.
Julian Lee has speculated that this cut may be a result of Russia moving to punish those who have chosen to oppose the government. Further, OPEC+ may be skeptical that the projected delivery of second-half demand is relatively unlikely. Regardless, it is clear that the organization is not focused on creating more oil production but rather taking advantage of revenue streams while they last.
On the other hand, the cut could prove detrimental to certain Western nations. This is especially true for the US, whom is currently undergoing a battle against inflation. The increasing oil prices may make matters more difficult for the Federal Reserve. Similarly, Liam Denning has speculated that this move could weaken a previously helpful disinflationary force.
Away from oil, one does not have to venture off to discover an intense digital competition between salespeople and consumers. The rise of AI-driven salespeople, such as ChatGPT, are being heavily integrated into eCommerce websites. Instead of being able to take a step back, consumers are now exposed to incredibly efficient salespeople — with robotic precision and efficiency.
Noah Feldman speculates that regulation of these types of technologies may soon become the norm, although Tyler Cowen argues against it due to the potential benefits it entails. Considering the past of bank failures, Silicon Valley Bank and the rise of VC money are sure to cause some concern.
Nevertheless, it is essential to recognize that this recent OPEC+ cut has certainly dramatically shifted our relationship with the US and Saudi Arabia from a classic fist bump to a more sinister “knife in the back”.
Klarna Bank AB is a payments facilitator for some of the world’s biggest brands like Nike, Gucci and Prada. Founded in 2005 and based in Sweden, Klarna Bank AB is popular for its policy of allowing a person to treat a purchase, such as luxury items, as a 30-year mortgage.
Alexis Leondis has written extensively about the potential dangers of such policies, especially during a pandemic where more consumers are in a position to take advantage of such extreme loan lengths.
Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia, a nation with a rich and complex political history. Putin has been president since 1999 and was reelected in 2018. Putin has been outspoken in his opinion on a variety of global issues and has been involved in numerous armed conflicts. He has also been accused of corruption, while Russia has been criticized by many countries for its alleged interference in election cycles.