Pumping up the prices
It’s always amusing, if a little alarming, when experts get things spectacularly wrong. At the beginning of this year, when a barrel of crude oil broke through the psychologically important $100 (€74) barrier on international markets for the first time, analysts confidently predicted a lasting era of apocalyptically high oil prices.
For months, it seemed as if they were spot on. Prices kept climbing, reaching a high of $147 (€110) in July. Irish consumers felt the pain almost immediately, with the price of petrol, diesel, home heating oil and electricity climbing dramatically and depressingly.
Then, almost overnight, things changed. A new apocalypse, in the form of the global banking system’s near collapse, appeared on the horizon and as oil prices fell the story fell off the news pages .