The economy and oil prices

Oil's role in the US economy, including the so-called new economy, received enlightening attention last month from one of the world's most widely watched economic authorities.The attention came in an Oct. 19 speech, at a Cato Institute conference in Washington, DC, by Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board. Among other things, Greenspan looked for signs of economic damage in the past year's oil-price surge and found surprisingly little. And he related reasons for that lack of damage to fundamental changes in both the economy and the oil and gas business.The economy, Greenspan said, has benefited from elimination of the federal budget deficit and rising produc...

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