It will be hard for a lot of people to believe but energy prices around the globe are in freefall. Some types of crude oil are now so worthless that producers in the United States are paying to have them hauled away.
Oil prices are collapsing because the only way that countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Iran can pay their bills is to sell off oil at whatever price they can get. This has effectively broken the back of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC - the cartel of oil-pumping countries that once had a stranglehold on the world’s economy.
One reason why OPEC has lost its power is that countries outside such as Russia and the United States can now export as much or more oil than it can. Even if OPEC raises the price all America or Russia needs to do to pull the rug out from under it is to turn up the pump and flood the market with cheap oil.