We love symbolic numbers. Remember all the ink given to the DOW crossing 10,000? How about hardcover books going over the $20 threshold? And, of course, there was gas going over $1 a gallon, and $2 a gallon, and $3 a gallon. Now, we have the magic "oil at $100 a barrel" mark. This is almost universally seen as a negative -- The Journal Gazette put it on the top half of the front page. But consider:
Unlike the oil shocks of the 1970s and 1980s, which were caused by sudden interruptions in oil supplies from the Middle East, today's surge is fundamentally different. Prices have risen steadily over several years because of a rise in demand for oil and gasoline in both developed and developing countries.