In wake of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder and dismemberment, allegedly ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself, and as the Yemen war continues to erupt, United States President Donald Trump keeps taking credit for falling oil prices. “So great that oil prices are falling (thank you President T),” he tweeted earlier today.
Four days ago, President Donald Trump thanked Saudi Arabia via Twitter. “Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” he wrote. Earlier this week, Trump told reporters that oil prices would “go through the roof” if not for his relationship with Saudi Arabia, according to CNBC.
Known for often lauding his and his administration’s supposed accomplishments, President Trump keeps crediting himself for the apparent drop in oil prices, but his claims are not rooted in reality, according to a new Vanity Fair report. The reality of the global oil market, in fact, appears to be much more complicated than that. Rather, a combination of socioeconomic factors appears to have played a part in the drop of oil prices. According to Vanity Fair, lower oil prices reflect weaker demand, which appears to be the result of concerns about the economy. The publication concludes that the prospect of a recession is the main reason Trump is firing “warning shots” at the Federal Reserve, which refuses to stop increasing interest rates, but instead continues to increase them, taming the president’s economy.
The president has very little to do with falling oil prices, but wants the credit anyway. https://t.co/Fgka3UqqkQ
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) November 25, 2018
The report notes that Trump has had somewhat of an impact on oil prices. Notably, his decision to excuse Saudi Arabia’s actions despite widespread and largely-bipartisan criticism has made an impact on oil prices, as has high output in the United States. But critics warn that the drop is, in fact, a sign that recession might be on the horizon. CNN’s Bill Weir criticized Trump via Twitter, pointing out that gas prices are still higher than in November 2016, and adding that they have been down for a year, which is why economists keep warning of recession.
Much like Vanity Fair, Middle East Eye argues that “understanding how the oil market works is like watching a game of multi-dimensional chess: many moving pieces are interacting, sometimes in unexpected ways,” explaining that a number of economic and other factors influence the price of oil. For example, when the Trump administration decided to sanction Iran, the maneuver was announced in advance, giving oil buyers more than enough time to switch suppliers. Furthermore, Russia continues to increase its oil output by 260,000 barrels a day.