I Do Not Understand This
Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (It's Another David Broder/Washington Post Edition)

Not Yet Record Oil Prices

Tim Harford sends us to Evan Davis:

BBC NEWS | The Reporters | Evan Davis: Imagine. $100 dollars. It is a lot for a barrel of oil. In fact, it's way up there. Since the 1860s, when people stopped killing whales for oil and dug it up in Pennsylvania instead, the price has averaged a little over $25 a barrel in today's money. We're at four times the long term average price. And as recently as 1998, only nine years ago, oil - on some measures - dipped below $10 a barrel. Although in today's money, for the year as a whole the price was more like 17.

It's clear that $100 a barrel is very high. Although it's worth saying, it's still not a record. 1864 was in fact the most expensive year for oil. It was over $104 in today's money. Notwithstanding that record (and most of us in the media will ignore it when talking of record highs in the next few weeks - we'll be using the high of $104.7 reached in 1980 after the Iranian revolution) we can at least say an impending $100 barrel is getting historically significant...