Use the s-word

For future market cycles, the oil industry should learn to use the s-word.That's "s" for "shortage."In a perfectly communicative world, increases in prices for oil products would provoke little controversy. Consumers would ask, "Why are we paying 50¢/gal more than we were a few months ago?" Suppliers would respond, "Because the market has swung into shortage." And that would be the end of it.Alas, it is not a perfectly communicative world.Understandable reluctanceNo one in industry or government wants to use the word "shortage." The reluctance is understandable. Reliability is an important factor of competition among suppliers. Shortage implies failure. So suppliers have "distrib...

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