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Petromania: Black gold, paper barrels and oil price bubbles by Daniel O'Sullivan

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Introduction

A Shadowy History

2008 was the year the oil price made history not just once but three times. The world gasped as it breached the $100 per barrel threshold, for the first time ever, on the very first trading day of that year. We swooned as crude oil reached an all-time high, as yet unsurpassed, of $147 per barrel in early July. And when oil subsequently collapsed from that peak in its most precipitate dollar decline ever, to trade at $34 per barrel by Christmas ’08, people did not know whether to laugh or cry. Had all that suffering been for naught? Because make no mistake, no price matters more in this world than that of a barrel of crude oil. Along its way, the rampaging oil price had played havoc with livelihoods worldwide ...

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