This illuminating text is about the potential consequences of high oil prices. It controversially claims that the price of oil was hugely significant in triggering the international economic crisis of 2007-2008. Nevertheless, the book does make some telling points about what may happen if oil becomes a lot more expensive once again.
It is useful to be reminded of the centrality of oil to the global economy. However, the complexity of contemporary capitalism is not quite captured by the author. Regardless of this theoretical deficit, the work is quite an entertaining read.
A strength of the text is its focus on the different ways in which oil is used around the world. In certain producer countries, oil is consumed with little restraint. Another relevant point which is made relates to the apparent link between prosperity and liberalism. The prescient economist wrote:
“As our economic well-being deteriorates, will we continue to remain committed to those principles of freedom and tolerance?
These are not abstract questions- they challenge some of our most fundamental assumptions about our societies. Economic turbulence has not brought the best out of us in the past.”