Over a barrel

The Wall Street Journal reports on the potential negative economic impact of high crude-oil prices:

Economists are watching crude-oil prices — which recently topped $37 a barrel, their highest level in more than two years — with much hand-wringing.

“Whenever we’ve seen oil prices approach $40 a barrel and stay there a couple of months, we have had a very high risk of a new recession. The $37 is definitely raising eyebrows.”

Even Americans who aren’t glued to CNN as events unfold in Iraq can’t escape geopolitical issues. It’s common knowledge that higher oil prices act like an additional tax on consumer spending — put simply, when that whole $20 bill goes to fill ‘er up, there’s nothing left over to spend on beef jerky or a six pack of Schlitz at the Kwik-E-Mart.

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