With oil prices collapsing, Saudi Arabia is facing similar problems that the Soviet Union faced decades ago. Saudi policymakers’ economic reform strategies also echo those of Mikhail Gorbachev. However, different from Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Saud Arabia’s foreign policy is both confrontational and interventionist. Saudi seeks change, but hopes to keep it in bounds, and may want the world to remain a dangerous place.
When oil prices plunged in 2014, many analysts predicted that major exporters would have to drastically cut supply or else risk fiscal and geopolitical instability. Michael Levi explains why these predictions have been proven wrong.
Fiscal "breakeven" oil prices have become popular among analysts and decision-makers as indicators of oil-producing countries' economic and political stability, but there are limits to the insights that breakeven prices provide. Blake Clayton and Michael A. Levi assess the potential value and most important pitfalls involved in using fiscal breakeven oil prices.
To pay for the new federal budget deal, which President Obama recently signed into law, Congress has agreed to sell 58 million of the 695 million barrels of the United States’ strategic petroleum reserve (SPR).
President Barack Obama announced the State Department's reasons for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported Canadian crude oil through the United States to the Gulf of Mexico for exportation.
Fuel economy standards are a central element of U.S. energy security and climate change strategy. Varun Sivaram and Michael A. Levi explore the case for maintaining stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
In Market Madness: A Century of Oil Panics, Crises, and Crashes, stock analyst Blake C. Clayton tempers the craze surrounding oil exhaustion through a combination of historical investigation and sober, persuasive analysis. His book is a lucid, credible riposte to apocalyptic ravings about “peak oil.” Clayton examines how such panics have persisted through the decades, all unfounded, yet devastating to the market. Market Madness enjoins consumers, policymakers, and brokers to abstain from hysteria and remain informed about what the future of energy truly holds.
After three years of unusual stability around $100 a barrel, oil prices fell steeply in the second half of 2014, dropping from $115 a barrel in June to around $60 by December. With oil critical to national economies, international security and climate change, what does the apparent new world of oil mean?
CFR adjunct fellow Blake Clayton draws on a century's worth of statistical data to offer a revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets. Clayton explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane, and demonstrates the significant effects these stories have on financial markets.
While the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia may not change the course of Saudi oil policy, Meghan O'Sullivan writes that interesting changes to the Kingdom's cabinet roster and other energy policies could be closer than most realize.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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