As oil soared to nearly $104 a barrel today, it set an all-time, inflation-adjusted record, surpassing even the height of the oil crises of the '70s and '80s, the New York Times reports. Futures touched $103.95 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, beating out the April 1980 record of $39.50 a barrel, or $103.76 adjusted for inflation.
Today’s oil crisis is entirely different from those bygone hiccups, which were caused by sudden interruptions in supply. Today, demand in the US and Asia is simply outstripping normal supply, causing prices to more than quadruple since 2000. The slowing economy is also pushing up the price, as investors look to commodities instead of stocks or cash.