OPEC too slow

Forget squabbles among individual members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Forget minor controversies stirred up by a US energy secretary testing the limits of his influence. The important problem for the oil market is that OPEC responds too slowly to reversals in demand for oil.At every turn in the violent cycle that began with the Asian economic crash of 1997-98 and from which the market has yet to right itself, OPEC has been too slow to recognize demand shifts and too slow to adjust production.The scorecardIn late 1997, the exporters' group was hardly alone in underestimating the depth and duration of the Asian recession and consequent slump in oil demand. It n...

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