“The hard part about playing chicken,” Bart Mancuso tells Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October, “is knowing when to flinch.” Neither Saudi Arabia nor Russia appear ready to flinch, let alone swerve, in their showdown over oil production that has cratered the global markets. The Saudis are threatening to keep the spigots flowing and push oil prices even lower, and Bloomberg reports that Vladimir Putin feels he can’t afford to look as though he got pushed around.
Will oil go below $20 a barrel? And what will that do to the US economy? Putin has bigger worries than that, Annmarie Holdern notes, but he might look to the US to either resolve the standoff or to take market action to bolster prices (via Peter Grandich):