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Word Count: 749
Got those OPEC Blues Again and Rational Exuberance SUMMARY Since March of 1999 when the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was at 13 a barrel we have seen a steady increase in prices in all phases of the economy OPEC the organization that is largely responsible for setting production goals in the Middle East was under fire to find ways to increase prices OPEC members at this time pledged to cut back the supply of crude and push oil prices higher Business Week 48 The results were better than most expected crude oil prices were almost 27 a barrel on November 23 1999 the highest price since the 1991 Gulf War Business Week 48 The demand for oil is outpacing current supply by 28 million barrels causing some in Congress to push for relief by tapping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserves Business Week 49 The rapid increases in prices have had a welcome effect on Big Oil however Companies such as BP Amoco Chevron and RoyalDutch Shell Group have posted 15 increases in earnings Business Week 49 This trend is expected to continue with L Bruce Lanni an analyst at CIBC World Markets Inc noting I see clear sailing ahead for the next two to three years Business Week 49 Happy days are here again This quote noted by Jodie Allen of US News and World Report refers to the booming US economy Allen 71 The stock market as of November 8 1999 was flying high posting strong gains prompting inflationary fears and a hard once-over of the situation by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan However the numbers are extraordinary The Gross Domestic product surged at an annual rate of 48 in the third quarter of 1999 The employment cost index which measures total compensation paid to workers in a broad sampling of jobs rose by 31 percent over the past 12 months Allen 71 But cautions Princeton economist Alan
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